THE family of an 89-year-old woman who was called a “nasty old cow” and physically abused at a Pontefract care home have called for CCTV in nursing homes to be compulsory.
Dementia patient Ivy Robinson was abused at Oakfoss House Residential Care Home, in Pontefract.
At Leeds Crown Court in September 2012, Senior carer Emma Bryan, of Harewood Avenue, Pontefract, was jailed for four months for her part in the abuse.
It only came to light after her family installed secret cameras.
The footage showed Emma Bryan calling Mrs Robinson a “horrible old lady” and “a nasty old cow”, slapping her hand away, and forcing medication into her mouth using a syringe during a five-day-period in November 2011.
Now, after care home operators Denestar agreed an undisclosed compensation settlement, Mrs Robinson’s family – who were represented by Neil Hudgell Solicitors – have called for cameras to become compulsory in all residential care homes.
Simon Wood, Mrs Robinson’s son-in-law, said: “My wife Angela and I have made a pact after all of this that neither of us will ever go into a residential care home.
“CCTV cameras have to become compulsory across the board. It is the only way of people seeing a true picture of what goes on when visiting times are over.
“People will always point to intrusion but the footage would only need to be viewed by professionals with random pieces of footage selected for viewing.”
Now the family of Mrs Robinson, who has since died, have joined the Action on Elder Abuse campaign which aims to clamp down on abuse in care homes across the country.
Mr Wood added: “Home owners will object to the CCTV cameras plan because they are businesses at the end of the day and the focus is on making money and not care. But we haven’t given up fighting yet. We’re convinced there’s a much bigger picture to emerge and we will continue fighting to ensure elderly people get the care they deserve.
“We owe it to our mum to carry on campaigning and that’s what we intend to do.”
He added: “We were labelled as complainers and moaners when we raised issues but we would repeat our advice for relatives to ask questions of their relatives’ care.
It was only when we took action and filmed the abuse taking place that the truth came out and our worst fears were confirmed.
At Leeds Crown Court in September 2012, Katherine Wallis, of Rhyl Street, Featherstone – who was also charged in connection with the abuse of Mrs Robinson – was sentenced to a 12-month community order.