Four care workers who ill-treated elderly dementia sufferers at a nursing home in Lancashire will be sentenced today.
Residents were bullied, mocked and tormented at Hillcroft nursing home because they would have no memory of the abuse, with one man having his foot stamped on deliberately and another tipped out of his wheelchair.
The victims were also pelted with bean bags at their heads "for entertainment", jurors at Preston Crown Court heard.
In November, Carol Ann Moore, 54, Katie Cairns, 27, and Gemma Pearson, 28, were found guilty by a jury of ill-treatment or neglect of a person who lacks capacity, under the Mental Capacity Act, after a four week trial.
Darren Smith, 35, from Lancaster, admitted eight counts of ill-treatment ahead of the trial.
It is appalling that frail vulnerable people can die from a lack of basic sustenance in the heart of care provision.
This is a major scandal that should never have occurred, and all levels must bear some responsibility, including care providers, regulators and the Government. The quality and safety of care of our older people has been an afterthought for too long.
What we need is a Cabinet-led strategy that makes this a major priority for change. We cannot go on like this.
– Gary FitzGerald Chief Executive, Action on Elder Abuse
As a report reveals more than 1,000 British care home residents over the past decade died of thirst or while suffering from severe dehydration, we look at some recent cases.
Norma Spear, 71, died in September 2010 after losing 35lbs in five weeks in Druids Meadow care home, Birmingham. An inquest found dehydration played a part in her death.
Josephine Cunningham, 86, won compensation from Care UK in 2011 after being left badly dehydrated at Appleby House, Epsom.
Gloria Foster, 81, died in February 2013 after being left nine days without food, following the closure of her care provider Agency Carefirst24, which shut with no replacement, a report by Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board found.
Siegfried Jaeckel, 84, died on Christmas Day 2010 at St Andrew's Lodge care home, Nottingham, with the nature of his death prompting a council enquiry. Deputy Coroner for Nottingham Heidi Connor said the cause of death was pneumonia, but that dehydration had contributed to this.
The law requires that care homes must ensure residents receive enough to eat and drink and we expect the Care Quality Commission to take swift action when this is not the case.
We want everyone to get better care, which is why the CQC are bringing in new rules so that it can crack down on poor care more effectively and why we're taking action so that company directors will be personally responsible for the quality of care their organisation provides.