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Braintree: Old Deanery Home featured on BBC’s Panorama tonight after undercover filming

21:00 30 April 2014

Undercover film by BBC1's Panorama programme into elderly care at the Old Deanery, in Braintree. Photo credit: BBC/PA Wire

Undercover film by BBC1's Panorama programme into elderly care at the Old Deanery, in Braintree. Photo credit: BBC/PA Wire

Undercover filming at a care home given a clean bill of health by regulators has allegedly found bullying.

An elderly woman partially paralysed and with dementia was slapped by a worker at the 93-bed Old Deanery home, Braintree, according to an investigation by Panorama.

The BBC1 programme broadcast tonight alleged the same resident was also mocked, taunted and bullied by other care workers while some residents were roughly handled, ignored and left in their own excrement for hours when undercover filming took place at the home.

A clean bill of health was given by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) during a visit in November when filming was taking place.

The CQC returned two months ago after it was given the findings and found shortcomings including too few staff and some residents waiting too long for assistance.

Anglia Retirement Homes, which took over the home in November, said an independent inquiry had been launched. It added the incidents involved a “small number of staff” and did not reflect the high standards of care it demanded.

A statement said: “As soon as the new management team was aware of the allegations we took immediate action.

“Eight staff were immediately suspended and have not returned to work pending a full inquiry. The care worker responsible for slapping a resident has been summarily dismissed.

“Our priority remains the health and wellbeing of our residents and we have more than 200 dedicated members of staff who remain committed to the highest standards of care.”

Andrea Sutcliffe, CQC chief inspector of adult social care, said: “The care shown in the programme is unacceptable.

“We have been concerned about the Old Deanery for some time. We have responded to concerns raised by staff, have checked up on the home regularly and have told the provider to make improvements.”

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