Care home staff charged over ill-treatment and neglect

Gloucestershire Police have charged a care provider and four of its current and former employees with ill-treating and neglecting residents at a care and nursing home for people with dementia and other mental health problems.

The charges follow a joint investigation launched in July 2005 by police and the Commission for Social Care Inspection into Newsham House in Gloucester, run by ADL, and relate to alleged offences from July 2003 to July 2005.

This is a rare case of charges being made under section 127 of the Mental Health Act 1983, which relates to the willful neglect and ill-treatment of mental health patients. Under the Mental Health Act 2007, the maximum penalty for the offence has increased from two to five years.

A CSCI spokesperson said it and Gloucestershire Council would decide whether action needed to be taken in relation to the home following discussions with ADL, and that residents and their families were being kept informed about developments.

The home was last inspected in June 2007 when CSCI praised increased staff training, including in safeguarding adults, but said the number and skills of staff were inadequate to meet residents’ needs and criticised the quality of management.

The company faces 10 charges of neglect and ill-treatment. A 49-year-old woman from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, and a 60-year-old man from Chippenham, Wiltshire, who are current ADL employees, have been charged with 10 and 11 counts respectively.

A 65-year-old Gloucester man and a 56-year-old Gloucester woman, who are former Newsham House employees, face 10 counts each.

They will all appear before Gloucester magistrates on 25 September, when the individuals charged will be named.

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Mithran Samuel



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