Monday 17 December 2018
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Panorama film prompts seven sackings at Essex care home

Six more staff have been sacked at an Essex care home after a BBC Panorama programme about alleged abuse there.

An undercover reporter filmed a video appearing to show a partially paralysed woman being slapped at The Old Deanery at Bocking, near Braintree.

The home's owners have now sacked a total of seven staff and suspended one other.

Essex Police said an investigation of the alleged abuse had been launched after detectives viewed the programme.

A spokesman said: "The force did request advance viewing of the programme, but this was declined.

"If members of the public wish to report any allegations of crime relating to this matter they are asked to contact Essex Police."
'Urgently reviewed'

In a statement, Old Deanery's owners Anglia Retirement Homes said managers were "shocked and saddened by allegations made by the BBC's Panorama programme of inappropriate behaviour by some members of staff".

"We apologise unreservedly for those failings," the statement said.

"The new management team at the home have been working with the Essex Constabulary since Panorama first contacted us about their allegations in February, when we immediately suspended eight staff pending a full inquiry.

"We have repeatedly asked Panorama for their filmed evidence so we could take the appropriate action, but they refused to show their undercover footage to us before broadcast.

"Having seen the programme and their evidence for the first time on Wednesday night, we have summarily dismissed six more staff and a further case is being urgently reviewed."

A care worker who was seen to slap a resident was sacked previously after an eyewitness made a statement to independent investigators.

"These incidents involved a small number of staff and are not reflective of the high standards of care which we expect and demand from all of our team," Anglia Retirement Homes said.

A law firm is to carry out a full investigation as a matter of urgency, Anglia said.

The care home looks after up to 93 elderly residents, some of whom have dementia.

In its last inspection by the Care Quality Commission, the home met all the required standards.