Monday 18 December 2017
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Abuse care home Wraxall Granary bans secret filming

A care home where workers were secretly filmed mistreating a resident has instructed staff to confiscate any hidden cameras they may find in future.

The family of Alzheimer's sufferer Gladys Wright filmed staff abusing her at the Granary at Wraxall, near Bristol, in 2012.

Three staff members pleaded guilty and were prosecuted for the offences.

But Shaw Healthcare which runs the unit has now said it will "remove and retain the contents" of any cameras it finds.

It said it must consider the legal issues around filming people mentally unable to give permission but denied this amounted to a ban.

"Given the legal issues around filming people without their consent ... we ask relatives and residents to discuss the placement of cameras with us before they do it," a statement said.

"That way, we can have an open dialogue with the family to address the reasons behind why they want to place cameras in the service user's room, and also to ensure that when cameras are installed it is done so in a way that complies with UK law, regulation and is in the service user's best interest.

"This is an issue that is faced by all care providers in the UK."

Tim Sykes, who placed his mother and sister under the Granary's care, described the unit's new policy as "completely outrageous".

He said: "If I was concerned and wanted to check up on my relatives there I should have that option. I don't think it's spying.

"I think that looking after the public is not a private job."

Mr Sykes said if the policy had been enforced two years ago, those workers caught on camera abusing Gladys Wright might be abusing his mother and sister today.

Shaw Healthcare said it has taken advice from the Care Quality Commission, and "accepts that cameras can play an important role in identifying incidents of abuse by staff or other service users".

However it said it must consider the "legal issues around filming people without their consent and the ability of those who may not have the mental capacity to give proper permission".

Granary care workers Daniel Baynes, Tomasz Gidaszewski and Janusz Salnikow pleaded guilty to mistreating Gladys Wright in 2012 after her family secretly filmed them abusing her.

Baynes was jailed for four months, Salnikow was given a suspended jail sentence and Gidaszewski a community order.