It was once again a worrying week in the world of social care. Wednesday’s Panorama on the BBC featured deeply upsetting secret filming in two homes, which uncovered abuse of vulnerable residents.
It’s appalling that this type of behaviour continues to take place against the most vulnerable in society. Relatives and friends expect their loved ones to receive much higher standards of care, concern and professionalism in a care home setting and there should be a zero tolerance of abuse by staff and management, both to protect the vulnerable and to restore the public’s faith in care homes.
In response to the footage, Dr Chai Patel, Chairman of HC-One, which owns one of the homes featured in the programme, announced plans to offer CCTV cameras in residents’ rooms to help stop abuse, neglect and theft by staff.
While in rare cases where there is a genuine cause for concern about the care of a resident, we can see the potential for using CCTV, our belief is that in any setting, the privacy and dignity of care home residents must be protected. And, as this week’s footage showed, they should never become a substitute for good management and staff supervision.
Good Week...for twins reunited after 78 years
Seeing the mistreatment of such vulnerable people has been very upsetting indeed, but in an attempt not to end the week on too dour a note, we did just want to share the more positive story of Ann Hunt and Elizabeth Hamel. The two, both 78, this week broke a world record, discovering they were twins and becoming reunited after the longest gap on record.
Born illegitimately in 1936 to a domestic cook, it would have been very difficult for an unmarried woman to keep her children.
The two sisters – who both married men called Jim - have both lost their husbands, so their reunion is a real comfort. “It’s so wonderful, I’m not on my own anymore,” said Ann. “I’ve got no words to say. I’m so happy.”