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Monday 24th October 2016

Poor care of elderly exposed

13th February 2007

The state of care provided for the elderly in the UK is once more in question, according to the Panorama documentary, ‘Please Look After Mum,’ shown on 12 February.

A former care worker, employed at Laurel Bank Home in Halifax from 2002-2003, told the programme about poor standards, “abuse? and humiliation of residents. Residents were allegedly fed when family members were present and abandoned to feed themselves when relatives left. The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) assert that Laurel Bank is now “significantly improved.?

The Commission plans to close another care home in Halifax, the Haven, although its owners are currently appealing against the decision. Inspectors visited the home twenty-one times in a year. The programme queries whether these inspections made any difference to standards of care. The CSCI admitted to the programme that residents were “at risk.?

In 2006, two Panorama programmes were shown on BBC One - ‘The National Homes Swindle’ and ‘A Growing Scandal’ - exposing the poor treatment of elderly people in care homes. Following the broadcasts, many viewers contacted the programme to share their own experiences. ‘Please Look After Mum’ was put together to examine the concerns many people voiced about the care of their relatives.

Over a decade ago, the Law Commission proposed legislation to safeguard the elderly and their care, but governments have been unwilling to put it into practice.

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