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We pledge to continue campaigning for better protection of the vulnerable and elderly after Government says it ‘does not object’ to use of CCTV in care homes

care home campaign

Hudgell Solicitors has welcomed recognition from the Government of the role cameras have played in exposing poor and neglectful treatment of the elderly and vulnerable in care homes.

It came in an official response from The Department of Health to a petition calling for CCTV in all UK care homes.

The Government said it ‘does not object to the use of CCTV cameras in care homes on a case by case basis.’

It added that it ‘recognises that cases of abuse and neglect have been exposed as the result of hidden cameras’, acknowledging ‘there are occasions when it may be appropriate for their use to be considered.”

Although the Government stressed ‘the use of CCTV and other forms of covert surveillance should not be routine’, Lauren Dale, of Hudgell Solicitors, believes its statement poses a question as to whether homes looking after the elderly and vulnerable should now be required to offer the option of extra surveillance to every resident.

Ms Dale said: “What we have here is an admission from the Government that abuse and neglect is happening too often in care and residential homes, but no suggestion of how that escalating problem can now be tackled and prevented going forward.

“The Government has admitted that CCTV cameras have played a vital role in catching the perpetrators of abuse and neglect, and that CCTV use is something it does not object to if families are happy for filming to take place.

“It is certainly positive to hear that the Government does not object to CCTV being used and that it feels it should be considered on a ‘case by case’ basis. The reality is though, without changing legal requirements on homes, this will never be the case.

“The only way to make a difference is to make it a legal requirement for care and residential homes to offer CCTV as an additional option in private rooms for families. We always accepted there would be concerns over privacy with blanket CCTV use, but if families are happy and want it, surely it should be provided?

“Surely it could become law for CCTV facilities to be available in a minimum number of rooms at each care home. This is what needs looking at next.”

The Government response came after Hudgell Solicitors gave its backing to the petition, set up by Rochdale resident Lisa Smith, who took her 86-year-old father Joshua out of care after four years, describing it as a ‘living nightmare’

Launching our Love Our Vulnerable and Elderly (Love) campaign, we called for the elderly and vulnerable to be loved, respected, protected and treated with dignity at all times in care.Freda case on this morning

Given we were also representing a number of families who had turned to secret filming and had caught abusive and neglectful care on camera, we also supported the call for CCTV to be compulsory in care homes, citing better protection for not only the residents themselves, but also care home operators and staff against malicious allegations.

The campaign attracted national media coverage, in particular when the family of an 84-year-old woman who was cruelly taunted and mimicked by her carers, released shocking images of the ‘horrific pressure sores’ she suffered whilst in same home, showing she was also subjected to agonising physical neglect.

Pressure sores on Freda Jobson’s lower back and heel were described as ‘some of the worst seen’ by medical negligence specialist Lauren Dale, who is currently representing the family in pursuing a civil claim over her ‘appalling’ care.

Now, the Government has stated it is not against the use of CCTV, saying it must be done ‘in consultation with and with the permission of those residents and their families.’

The Government response said: “The Government does not object to the use of CCTV cameras in care homes on a case by case basis. Care home owners should consult with and seek the consent of residents and their families on their use.

“Care providers and members of the public, including care service users and their families, are free to decide whether or not to employ CCTV or covert monitoring. However, they should be aware of requirements, including legal protections, around ensuring the privacy and dignity of those who are being filmed or observed.

“The abuse or neglect of vulnerable people is deplorable. The Government has strengthened the powers of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to prosecute providers for unacceptable care, including abuse.

“The Government recognises that cases of abuse and neglect have been exposed as the result of hidden cameras. We acknowledge that there are occasions when it may be appropriate for their use to be considered.

“Closed circuit television (CCTV) should not be regarded as a substitute for proper recruitment procedures, training, management and support of care staff, or for ensuring that numbers of staff on duty are sufficient to meet the needs of users of services.

“It is a legal requirement that care providers must ensure the safety, welfare, privacy and dignity of service users at all times. The Government considers that the widespread introduction of CCTV into care homes would raise important concerns about residents’ privacy, as well as practicality.

“The use of CCTV and other forms of covert surveillance should not be routine, but should be considered on a case by case basis. The Government does not object to the use of CCTV in individual care homes or by the families of residents, provided it is done in consultation with and with the permission of those residents and their families.”

The Government added that with care provision ‘often personal, even intimate in nature’, filming ‘would represent a major intrusion into their privacy’ adding that ‘For the great majority, whose care is good, such an intrusion could not be justified.’

Ms Dale added: “The campaign has been a success as it has placed the worrying matter of neglectful and abusive care of our elderly and vulnerable under the national spotlight and onto the desks of those at the Department of Health.

“The response we have had is not enough though, it simply accepts there is a problem but offers no solution.

“We will continue to support families to bring about better care for their loved ones, which requires stronger demands on care operators, improved protection, and greater accountability across the board.

“This campaign will not end because a petition period has closed. It has only just started. A campaign like this can only end when a truly positive difference to the care of our vulnerable and elderly has been secured.”

Care home abuse claims

If you or someone you know has suffered in any way, through no fault of their own, please get in touch and we’ll take the worry and hassle out of making a claim. All claims have a time limit, so get in touch today and we’ll guide you every step of the way.

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15/06/2016 1 Comment

Family of Freda Jobson thank public for support after thousands back campaign for CCTV in UK care homes

Freda Jobson thanks

Images and video footage showing the appalling treatment of dementia sufferer Freda Jobson whilst in care made national television and newspaper headlines, shocking families across the country earlier this month.

Her carers at Keldgate Manor Residential Care Home in Beverley, East Yorkshire, were sentenced in court having being caught on camera mocking and taunting her as she lay in her bed, after her family set up a secret spy camera in her room.

Pictures of her hip, buttock and heel, taken by her worried family, showed she had also suffered the worst level of bed sores whilst in care – so bad that some had around 85 per cent dead tissue and were described by her family as ‘dripping in blood’ and like ‘a piece of raw meat’, and as ‘amongst the worst ever seen’ by an expert injury lawyer.

The video footage and pictures were released by Mrs Jobson’s family in a bid to raise awareness of poor care of the elderly and vulnerable in care homes, calling for people to sign a petition for CCTV in all care homes.

And today, after thousands of people supported their call and signed the petition, the family has issued a very different picture of Mrs Jobson, who 14 months after leaving the home, is now looking much healthier and happier, at the age of 85.

They have thanked people for their support and now appealing for thousands more to sign the petition for CCTV in Care Homes ahead of its closure next Thursday, June 2.

“We have been overwhelmed by the many kind well wishes of people who were appalled by what had happened to my mother in care, but we were also struck by the number of people who said they were also aware of poor care of the elderly in care across the country,” said Mrs Jobson’s daughter Maddy, 51.

“Many many people asked us how my mother is doing now and how she has recovered, and we are glad to say that she is doing very well, better than we could ever have hoped when we took her from the home.”

Mrs Jobson was moved to Beverley Community Hospital in East Yorkshire, where her pressure sores have now healed, she has a healthy appetite, and Maddy says she is clearly happy.

“Good care pays, and my mum’s treatment is the perfect example of that,” she said.

“I’ve said previously that if we’d not put that camera in the care home when we did, I am convinced she would have died within weeks. She was miserable, afraid, in pain and not eating anything.

“Now she is completely different. The staff at the community hospital have been wonderful. They sit down with her and chat to her and it is really obvious that they care. I visit mum every day and feed her at lunchtime as I enjoy it and it helps the staff, but I can leave my mum feeling really happy and confident that she is being cared for lovingly.”

Maddy says that her mother, who dropped to just four stone when in care, now enjoys three meals a day, which she always finishes.

She said: “She is eating really well and has a really good appetite now. She has porridge in a morning with syrup, a three-course meal at lunch which includes mashed meat, vegetables and gravy for her main course and a yoghurt for pudding, and then soup at tea-time followed by an Angel Delight. She eats it all.

“She’ll never really be able to gain weight, but her face has filled out again and she just looks much healthier and happier. We’re just really happy with how she has progressed, and how people have supported the campaign. We needs lots more to sign now though to make the biggest impact possible.”

Hudgell Solicitors has been calling for CCTV to be made compulsory in all care and residential homes as part of its ‘Love Our Vulnerable and Elderly’ (LOVE) campaign, aimed at ensuring the elderly and vulnerable are loved, respected, protected and cared for with dignity at all times.

Close to 12,000 people have signed the petition currently, a number which will require the Government to provide an official response and update on any relevant parliamentary processes that are ongoing. Should the petition reach 100,000, the matter of CCTV could be forced onto the agenda at Whitehall.

Solicitor Lauren Dale, a medical negligence specialists at Hudgell Solicitors who is representing the family, said: “We have seen great support for our call for CCTV systems in all care homes, but sadly, it takes cases such as this one to make people sit up and listen.

“Interestingly, we have received many comments from people who have worked within the care industry and have been passionate about providing the very best care. Many of these people have said that whilst CCTV is not something they have wanted, they can now see the need for change.

“As a firm we support many families who have been through very similar distressing times when the care of one of their loved ones has not only fallen below that expected, but crossed the line to neglect and abuse.

“At present, families have no option and when they have concerns, and an increasing number are turning to secret filming to find out what happens when they leave their loved ones in the care of others. As we have seen, many have uncovered shocking care.

“We believe having CCTV in private rooms should be an option for families, as it would give residents better protection, give families extra peace of mind when putting loved ones in carer, and would also protect the care homes and care workers themselves from any malicious claims against them.”

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24/05/2016 7 Comments

5 questions to ask to ensure your loved one doesn’t develop pressure ulcers in care

Lauren Dale

The pressure sores compensation claim relating to the case of 85-year old Freda Jobson, who developed the worst level of pressure sores when in a residential care home, has highlighted the need for greater awareness of how they develop and how they can, and should be prevented.

We see many families who are unaware that pressure sores are almost always avoidable when appropriate care is provided.

Indeed, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), 95% of pressure sores and bed sores are easily preventable through appropriate mobility checks.

It is important that families are aware of the dangers of pressure sores developing in people who remain in the same position for a long period of time, for example someone who is bedridden, disabled or confined to a wheelchair.

Pressure sores are often mistakenly considered not to be serious by relatives, but they can lead to serious infections of the spine, and in worst case scenarios, can even result in death.

Families can and should question the care being provided to their loved ones if they are unable to move on their own when in a care home. We recommend asking the following questions of care providers.

1.Has my relative been appropriately assessed for risk of developing pressure sores?

When admitted to a hospital or care home, people should be assessed to see whether they are at risk of developing a pressure ulcer as soon as possible. This is particularly important if the individual has problems moving or changing position without help, if they are seriously ill or having an operation,  have problems with memory and understanding (such as with dementia), or have an injury which affects how they move.

2. How often is my relative being moved into a different position?

Simply changing position is one of the best ways of preventing a pressure ulcer, as it reduces and relives pressure on areas that are most susceptible (bony parts of the body). Guidance is that adults considered at a high risk should be moved every six hours, children every four hours. Be sure to ask that this is being done and check such moves are being recorded on your relative’s care records.

3.Has a special mattress, overlays or cushions been provided?

This is a commonly used solution to prevent pressure sores developing, and care providers should consider using high-specification foam theatre mattresses to minimise the pressure on areas of skin at risk. Plans should also be considered for people who are sitting for prolonged periods to have cushions to reduce the pressure on susceptible areas.

4.What are the specifics of the care plan in place to prevent pressure sores?

A care plan should be agreed with the patient and their family that explains how treatment will be provided to avoid the development of pressure ulcers. It should cover the results of the initial skin assessment, how best to relieve pressure to skin areas at particular risk, how often their position should be changed and any other problems related to pressure ulcers (for example, if the patient have difficulty moving).

5.Has my relative been assessed by a dietitian or other qualified healthcare professional?

A specific diet should be devised for someone deemed at high risk of developing pressure sores to ensure they are getting enough particular nutrients. You, and the person in care, should be given a balanced diet to maintain an adequate nutritional status, taking into account energy, protein and micronutrient requirements.

Should you or a relative have concerns over treatment regarding pressure sores and ulcers, our team of specialist solicitors can provide free legal advice as to whether you may be in a position to make a pressure sores compensation claim.

Hudgell Solicitors are campaigning for CCTV to be made compulsory in all UK care homes, as we believe it will lead to improved standards and benefits for families including increased protection against abuse, both physical and mental, by care home staff or other residents, and greater confidence for families when placing their relatives within the care industry.

Sign the petition today if you agree.


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13/05/2016 No Comments

Family back campaign for CCTV in care homes as they release shocking pictures of pressure sores


The family of an 85-year-old woman who was cruelly taunted and mimicked by her carers have released shocking images of the ‘horrific pressure sores’ she suffered whilst in same home, showing she was also subjected to agonising physical neglect.

Pressure sores on Freda Jobson’s lower back, heels and feet have been described as ‘some of the worst seen’ by Lauren Dale, a medical negligence specialist at Hudgell Solicitors, who is representing the family.

It comes after three former care workers from the Keldgate Manor Residential Care Home in Beverley, East Yorkshire, admitted ill-treatment of the dementia sufferer.

Tracy Priestley, 41, Danielle Snowden, 25, and Sophie Hinchsliff, 24, were caught laughing among themselves as the elderly resident was asked if she was a witch who ‘performed black magic’ before a bandage was removed from a sore on her elbow and wrapped around her head.

The ill-treatment was only discovered after Mrs Jobson’s worried family used a spy camera disguised as an alarm clock, which they bought online for £15, to film her care, looking for reassurance that she was being well looked after.

Now, her family have taken the further step of revealing shocking pictures of the ‘horrific’ pressure sore injuries she developed on a number of areas of her body whilst she was a resident at the same residential home.


Family supports Hudgell Solicitors campaign for CCTV in care homes

Keldgate 15 (002)Mrs Jobson’s family are launching legal action as a result of the injuries, through Hudgell Solicitors, and supporting our campaign calling for CCTV to be made compulsory in all care homes across the UK.

We are calling for CCTV to be compulsory in all care and residential homes as part of our ‘Love Our Vulnerable and Elderly’ (LOVE) campaign.

We believe it can bring improved standards and benefits for families, including increased protection against abuse, both physical and mental, by care home staff or other residents, and greater confidence for relatives when placing their loved ones within the care industry

Importantly, we think the introduction of CCTV can help ensure the elderly and vulnerable are loved, respected, protected and cared for with dignity at all times.

If 10,000 people sign an e-petition by June 2, the Government will be required to provide a response. 100,000 signatures could see it make the agenda in Parliament, and then the matter of CCTV could be forced onto the agenda at Whitehall.

Pressure sores left residents skin ‘looking like raw meat’

Despite it being accepted medically that around 95 per cent of pressure sores can be avoided with appropriate care, they had developed despite the home having identified Mrs Jobson as being at high risk of developing them as long as 15 months before she left.

Sores on her right hip and right buttock measured 6cm x 3cm with a depth down to the bone, with ‘extensive underlying tissue damage and destruction.’

These have been classed by an independent medical expert as being the worst level ‘Grade 4’ sores, which require immediate treatment and usually surgery to remove.

She also had Grade 4 sores to her toe and elbow, whilst her heel was in such a bad state it was considered ‘ungradeable’, with 85 per cent dead tissue.

Mrs Jobson’s daughter Maddy, 51, said: “The home tried to tell us the sores would not have been too painful for her, but all you need to do is look at the pictures. They are almost too much to look at. Anyone knows how painful it is when you have any sore part of your skin. My mum had no skin left in areas.

“When we took a sock off her foot she was dripping in blood, there was a foul smell, and it looked like a piece of raw meat. The skin was down to the bone. Her ankle and her lower back were horrendous.”

“Injuries are truly shocking, and some of the worst we have seen” – solicitor Lauren Dale

Lauren Dale, a specialist in care home neglect and abuse cases at Hudgell Solicitors, said: “The sores Mrs Jobson suffered whilst a resident at Keldgate Manor Residential Care Home are truly shocking.

“Allowing an ulcer to escalate to a level where you can see the bone is almost always inexcusable, and that is why we are now asking serious questions over this aspect of Mrs Jobson’s care.

“We are sure anyone looking at these photographs will be shocked. They are very upsetting and make it clear that Mrs Jobson was left in significant pain and discomfort as a result of negligent care.

“She was not only subjected to abuse at the hands of her carers, who have now admitted their cruelty and been sentenced in court, but she was also subjected to an appalling standard of care in that she had these horrific pressure ulcers to to her heel, sacrum and hips

“These injuries are truly shocking, and certainly some of the worst pressure ulcers we have seen in our work.

“The pressure ulcers have improved significantly since Mrs Jobson was moved from Keldgate, and this highlights how more could and should have been done for her in terms of the care provided, and that these ulcers could have been prevented, or in the alternative treated.

“This is the latest in a long-line of cases where an elderly and vulnerable person has been subjected to appalling abuse in a care or residential home. It has to stop.”

“CCTV is the only way to ensure elderly people are protected”

Mrs Jobson says the campaign to make CCTV compulsory in all care and residential homes is one she fully supports for those like her mother who are not able to defend themselves or speak out when they are being mistreated.

“People talk about privacy, but would anyone want to think that their loved ones were being treated in this way and stripped of their dignity as my mum was?” she said.

“We took action ourselves and got the spy camera off the Internet, but we shouldn’t have needed to do that. CCTV is the only way now to ensure people are protected, and to hopefully prevent more suffering for other elderly people.

“If we’d have been given the option of having cameras in my mum’s room we’d have taken it. They’d be no room for argument then. We’d know exactly what care she’d been given when we were not there.

“I want to urge everybody to sign this petition and let’s make a difference for our elderly and vulnerable. Let’s stop this happening and let’s protect the ones we love.”

Research shows that 95 per cent of pressure ulcers are avoidable if treated appropriately – usually by assessing a patient’s vulnerability to pressure sores on admission and then by simply providing an appropriate mattress, making sure they move and, if necessary, are turned.

Mrs Jobson, a great-grandmother of six, was moved to a new home after her family discovered the mental abuse when reviewing the film caught on camera last March.

They said they were ‘sickened’ by what they saw, with the footage leading to the resulting police investigation, and Mrs Jobson being transferred to Beverley Community Hospital, where she remains today.

The three carers from Keldgate Manor Residential Care Home were all sacked by the company soon after the abuse footage surfaced, and each admitted a charge of ill-treating or willfully neglecting a person without capacity, contrary to section 44 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Their actions were described in court as ‘disgraceful’ ‘cruelty’ and ‘bullying’.

They were each handed 12 month community orders. Hinchsliff and Snowden were ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid works and told to each pay £1,500 in compensation to Mrs Jobson. Priestley was ordered to complete 240 hours.

She was also given a three-month curfew order. All three were also banned from being carers again.

To sign the petition calling for CCTV to be installed in all care and residential homes go to https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/114019



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12/05/2016 No Comments

Eight in 10 would welcome CCTV in care homes to protect vulnerable and elderly from abuse

care home campaign

EIGHT in 10 people say they would agree to allowing their loved ones to be filmed 24 hours a day when in a care or residential home to protect them from neglect and abuse.

It comes as more than half of people questioned in a national survey said their biggest fear when putting an elderly relative into a home would be that they’d be treated with a lack of genuine care and kindness.

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09/02/2016 No Comments

Hudgell Solicitors calls for compulsory CCTV in care homes to prevent abusive and neglectful care of the elderly

care home campaign

Hudgell Solicitors is calling for CCTV systems to become compulsory in care and residential homes across the country in a bid to prevent cases of abuse and neglect of the elderly.

It follows an increasing number of cases in which concerned families have caught care home staff either abusing or neglecting their loved ones by secret filming and recording.

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02/02/2016 2 Comments

Latest care standards report highlights poor treatment of hospital patients with Alzheimer’s

Nurse helping lady

By Simon Wilson, senior solicitor at Hudgell Solicitors

Care of the elderly in the UK has again come under major scrutiny following the publication of a new report which has claimed dementia patients are being left ignored for hours on hospital wards, often being denied food, fluid and pain relief.

It comes after the Alzheimer’s Society carried out detailed surveys of 574 relatives and carers, and submitted Freedom of Information requests to health trusts.

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19/01/2016 No Comments

Hudgell Solicitors to conduct ‘full and thorough investigation’ into abuse of Alzheimer’s sufferer in Birmingham care home

Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp

Solicitors representing the family of an Alzheimer’s sufferer who was filmed being threatened, intimidated and mocked by care home staff say they will ensure a ‘full and thorough investigation’ is held into how the abuse was allowed to happen.

Hudgell Solicitors, specialists in handling cases of care home neglect and abuse, are representing the family of 68-year-old Bridget McDonald in a civil claim, and say a serious questions remain unanswered following a police investigation, and the sacking of the staff involved at The Ridings care home in Birmingham.

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25/09/2015 No Comments

What to do if you suspect care home abuse

Nurse pushing old man in wheelchair

If a loved one is in care, you want to feel assured that they are in good hands. Unfortunately, some cases come to light that expose negligence and abuse. If you suspect that your loved one is not receiving adequate care, or is being harmed, here are the next steps to take.

What are the signs of care home abuse?

Abuse can be physical or psychological. For those in care, openly discussing this with you may be difficult. It may be, however, that you are spotting the signs of abuse. These might be unexplained injuries, perceived fearfulness, weight loss, or withdrawal.

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02/09/2015 No Comments

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