Nursing home owners complain about Panorama

The Registered Nursing Homes Association has lodged a complaint with the BBC about last week’s Panorama programme which claimed older people were at risk in care homes.

The RNHA said yesterday that the programme, “Please look after mum”, was unbalanced and failed to prove its case that older people lacked protection because it used just three case studies from two homes in Halifax in Yorkshire.

The abuse and neglect at one of the homes, Laurel Bank, dated back to 2003 and 2004. The RNHA emphasised it had improved significantly since then, a point admitted by Panorama.

The home’s last Commission for Social Care Inspection report said “residents looked well cared for” and “spoke well of staff”.

The RNHA defended the Laurel Bank’s owner and matron’s decision not to participate in the programme, saying they had been told that they would be used to illustrate “gaps in protection” for older people.

The association said: “This suggested a mind firmly made up rather than an open-minded approach, which is why Laurel Bank had declined to take part.”

CSCI issued a closure notice on the second home, the Haven in May 2006, but it remains open pending a Care Standards Tribunal  hearing.

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