Hillcroft – Another care home abuse scandal
October 11, 2012 Leave a comment
Yet another care home has become embroiled in an abuse scandal involving multiple arrests this week. On Monday 6 current and former employees of the Hillcroft Care Home in Slyne, Lancaster were arrested following a 5 month police investigation into allegations of abuse, ill treatment and patient neglect involving alzheimer’s patients. These individuals have today been released on Bail until November 14th.
This comes just months after the widely publicised Panorama undercover investigation into the Bristol Winterbourne Care Home scandal following which 11 individuals were convicted of multiple instances of physical abuse against residents and who now all await sentencing at Bristol Crown Court later this month which I will hopefully witness.
Care home abuse scandals and accusations are unfortunately far too common, and following the Winterbourne investigation, and as reported by John Bingham in the Telegraph back in August, hundreds of allegations have since been made regarding such abuse.
These cases truly make me worry about the mentality and motivations of persons that engage in such shocking behaviour against vulnerable individuals who enter residential care hoping to improve their quality of life only to fall prey to predatory monsters operating in plain sight at hell holes such as Winterbourne. Why is it that often it is not just one member of staff committing abuse on the sly, but instead like the Winterbourne 11, a group of individuals abusing together?
There are two questions that I would like to consider.
- Are the individuals found guilty of committing Winterbourne style abuse actually abusers to begin with, and if so do they enter such employment to further such acts? or
- Are they individuals who enter employment within the care industry only to fall into abusing later, perhaps encountering it to begin with, becoming desensitised, and eventually accepting it as the norm, only to then engage and become complicit in such acts themselves? It is interesting that at Winterbourne there were clear ringleaders.
To be honest, I am not quite sure, although I suspect that either option could be true in such cases. I am damn sure however that the abuse witnessed at Winterbourne, including use of martial arts against residents, pinning a resident to the floor by sitting on them with a chair, and later hosing them down with freezing water outside the premises etc went beyond anything that any normal person would consider normal. This would tend therefore to discount my second question on the basis that no normal minded person could really stand by and let such abuse occur, much less engage in it themselves.
So returning to my first question, is it possible that there are individuals out there who actively seek out positions where they can prey on innocent and vulnerable individuals (not just within the realm of care homes)? There have been numerous reported cases of individual child abuse committed by teachers, not to mention paedophile rings with members working as teachers. Then there is the current scandal surrounding Jimmy Saville allegedly abusing children in care homes (including possibly the notorious Haut de la Garenne in Jersey) and hospitals he ‘supported’ as well as possible back stage abuses committed during his career at the BBC along with his affiliations with the gargantuan monster and international child abuser Paul Gadd (known also as Gary Glitter) with whom Saville is co-accused along with two others.
If Saville was indeed a child abuser, is it possible that his charitable activities were merely a cover and convenient way of procuring and grooming victims?
I really would like to hope such scary possibilities were not the case, but remain sadly unconvinced. Care home abuse however is not acceptable and should be stamped out. Surely there must be some regulatory way of preventing Winterbourne from happening again and again?