BREAKING NEWS: Three care workers plead guilty to assault after BBC investigation

Old Deanery care home

Three care workers have pleaded guilty to assault after being filmed by BBC’s Panorama programme slapping and abusing an elderly resident.

The incident took place in April 2014 at the Old Deanery care home near Braintree in Essex.

Adeshola Adewura, Lorna Clark, and Anita Ray did not mount a defence and will be sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court in February.

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Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green referred to the incident in an interview with Care Home Professional today.

He said there should be a zero tolerance approach to all misconduct in care homes, just as the airline industry does.

Even the smallest problem witnessed by a member of an aircraft crew will be reported and dealt with professionally. In care homes, there is still a culture that problems should be covered-up for fear that funding will be withdrawn, said Professor Green.

He said incidents like those seen on the Panorama programme should trigger action to improve a home and its staff, but whistleblowers are too often treated like troublemakers.

The Old Deanery was re-launched as the New Deanery by Sonnet Care Homes in 2015.

Julia Clinton, chief executive of Sonnet, said at the time: “We bought the home in November 2013 and we have been working tirelessly to create a home which is in the luxury league.

“We have changed things massively; we have increased staffing and we now have robust measures in place. Prospective employees have to pass a care-specific aptitude test before they even have an interview.

“We purposefully make the process difficult so we employ only the best staff.”

The New Deanery’s latest CQC inspection report from March 2015 gave the home an overall rating of “requires improvement”, although it found its caring to be “good”.

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