A woman used a high-resolution video surveillance camera to record a nurse beating her mother in a care home. She placed the camera in her mother's room after she noticed she had bruises on her arms and hands only six weeks after moving into the home.
The camera disguised as a table clock, caught Jonathan Aquino, 30, hitting the old woman six times on the face, arms and abdomen. Another footage showed the old woman, who had severe arthritis, being man-handled by carers.
The Daily Mail reports Aquino was jailed for 18 months for assault, and four other staff at the care home were sacked after Jane Worroll showed the care home manager footage of staff abusing her 81-year-old mother, Mary Worroll, at the care home.
Jane said: “I was horrified to see that was a day in the life of my mother. I screamed when I first saw it. She was just so vulnerable. She can’t get up or call for help. It’s just totally sadistic.” She described what she saw: "The footage showed two female carers hauling my mother out of her chair and manhandling her into bed. She was crying out in pain. One of them picked up her legs and dropped them on to the mattress.‘Oh God, oh God,’ my mother was wailing. She has terrible arthritis, so rough treatment like this was agony for her. One of the carers commented nastily on how much my mother’s breath smelled."
She describes separate footage: "...Aquino came up on the screen. I was aghast — he shouldn’t be in my mother’s room. She was supposed to have only women carers. And he was alone. I saw him tugging my mother’s clothes and a wave of outrage rose up in my throat. With a rude shove, he rolled her on to her side while she cried out with humiliation and pain. Then his arm swung back. I heard the crack of a slap against her thigh.Over the following minutes, I saw him slapping my mother around her thighs and her face — again and again and again..."
The Sun reports the footage comes after clips showed residents being slapped, doused in water and taunted at the Winerbourne View care home in Hambrook, Gloucs.
Jane Worroll had moved her mother, who had Alzheimer's, to Ash Court care home in July 2010 because she needed round-the-clock care. Ash Court was given an "excellent" rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Worroll wrote: "Until my mother lost the capacity to walk, I’d always been one of those daughters who said: ‘I’ll never put my mother into a care home.' But in March 2010, I found myself in a position where I had to. My 78-year-old mother, Maria Worroll, had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and had suffered several falls. She couldn’t get out of bed and ended up in hospital. The hospital and social services said she now needed full-time nursing care. Until that point, I’d tended to her everyday needs — bathing and dressing and cooking for her. But now I was pregnant, still working and increasingly unable to manage. My siblings and I made a family decision to find a care home for our mother to live in."
But week after she moved her mother to the care home, she noticed she had bruises on her arms and hands. When she inquired about it, staff reassured her, saying the bruise marks were the result of aspirin she was taking. She wrote: "My mother had been there six weeks when I noticed her knee was swollen. Soon after that she had bruises on her arm and hand. I commented on them and was told by the doctor it was probably due to low-dose aspirin making bruising appear more easily, and that the swelling in her knee was probably arthritis." But Worroll remained suspicious. She asked herself: "Why did fingermarks keep appearing on her upper arms? Why had she started moaning ‘oh God, oh God’ when care workers came into the room?"
She noticed that her mother's condition deteriorated rapidly: "When I did visit, I noticed she was hunched and introverted. She’d stopped feeding herself. Before, I’d been able to hold simple conversations with her. Now she barely spoke. Once, I walked into her room at 7.30am to find my mother slumped on one side like a rag doll. Her nightie was askew, her hair messy. She seemed confused. The staff came in looking guilty and made excuses. They’d left her for only a minute, they said. But I’d been there for a while..."
She decided to install a camera to investigate what was going on at the care home when she was not there. The camera caught images of her mother abused on two separate occasions. She wrote: "After just two nights of filming, I found out that the bruising didn’t come from aspirin, as the home’s staff and the home’s doctor had assured me. It came from abuse. During those two nights, the camera captured footage of five carers visiting my mother. Their job was to prepare her for sleep and tend to her personal needs.They did get her into bed. And they did wash her. But she was also slapped repeatedly, man-handled, verbally abused and jeered at."
Judge Henry Blacksell QC, told Aquino, a qualified Filipino nurse, that he was guilty of "a dreadful breach of trust." The head of the Relatives and Resident Association Judy Downey, said: “How did five workers not know she had to be moved gently? You could hear the poor lady cry out in pain at the way she was moved. It suggests a deep cultural problem in that home where people were treated with less respect than slabs of meat.”
The Sun reports Ash Court has said that its staff are “committed to working closely with all families and residents." Three months after Maria's case, a report the regulator CQC produced said that residents are “protected from abuse, or the risk of abuse, and their rights are respected and upheld." The CQC inspectors said they had seen “improvements" at Ash Court.
But Worroll called for a "complete review" of the care system, saying there was need for "robust strategies put in place." She describes her experience of looking for a suitable home for her mother: "When I first started looking, I imagined a home that was warm and homely, with highly trained, welcoming staff. I was naive. I visited many homes in North London.Each time I walked through the door of another so-called ‘care’ home, another part of my modest dream was dispelled. The smell of urine, the institutional layout, the dark rooms and robotic smiles; by the time I’d finished I realized this was standard."