BBC Panorama to highlight elderly care abuse

23 April 2012

The BBC Panorama programme to be shown on April 23rd on BBC 1, will show footage of 81 year old Maria Worroll who suffers from Alzheimers and arthritis, being assaulted by a care worker at the Ash Court Care Centre in Kentish Town, North London.

Mrs Worrall's daughter, Jane, (her suspicions raised by bruising on her mother's arms) secretly filmed her mum's room in the North London care home. Footage from June 2011 shows a male carer, Jonathon Aquino, striking Mrs Worroll six times on the face, arms and abdomen. Aquino was jailed this month and four of his female colleagues have since been sacked by the operators of the home, Forest Healthcare.

Apart from the physical assault, the secret filming also revealed that, despite suffering from acute arthritis Mrs Worroll was manhandled by her carers when a hoist should have been used and on other occasions instead of greeting or speaking to her, the carers would simply turn on the television while they were in her room, ignoring her completely.

Mrs Worrall has, understandably, been moved to another care home, but perhaps the most alarming aspect of the case is the fact that just two years before the assaults, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) awarded Ash Court Care Centre an "excellent" rating.  A subsequent report produced four months after the incidents failed to mention that charges were pending against members of staff.

Now that criminal proceedings have been concluded, Mrs Worrall could consider claiming compensation for the physical injuries she suffered.    In this instance given her frailty and mental state, her daughter would have to act as her 'Litigation Friend' and in this case Jane Worrall had the foresight to provide irrefutable video evidence.  Any proposed settlement of a claim would need to be approved at an informal hearing before a judge, who has a duty to ensure that any proposed settlement is fair and reasonable and fairly compensates the injured person.

Veronica Male, a legal executive in the personal injury team of Shoosmiths from Shoosmiths says:  It's unusual to have such compelling evidence of abuse as is the case here, but getting compensation for a vulnerable relative who is in care and has been injured requires good evidence, persistence, experience and support for the injured person and their family through the whole process."

You can read Veronica's earlier article on the issue of obtaining compensation for care home abuse and warning signs to look out for here.



This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024

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