Elderly abuse lawyers speak out
Leading lawyers specialising in elderly abuse have again called for stricter regulation of care homes, and for legislative measures to be put in place after today's announcement that the co-manager of a care home in Somerset has been charged with murdering three elderly residents.
Rachel Baker and her husband Leigh (50) were arrested on New Year’s Day 2007 in connection with the death of Lucy Cox (97) at Parkfields care home near Glastonbury.
The 44 year old nurse is also accused in connection with the deaths of Francis Hay and Marion Alder as well as 11 counts of possessing a controlled drug. In September 2008 both Mr and Mrs Baker were further questioned over seven other deaths.
Victoria Blankstone, who has represented the families of victims of care homes such as The Maypole nursing home in the West Midlands said: "These charges are extremely troubling, especially in light of cases such as The Maypole Nursing home in Birmingham where 27 residents died in a 36 bedded unit in just one year having reportedly lived in cramped conditions suffering poor staffing, hygiene and diet.
“It was a startling example of the inadequacies in elderly care and the appalling conditions in which some elderly people are forced to live in this country. Concerns have been voiced time and again for better regulation of care homes and for legislative measures to be put in place to protect vulnerable residents.
“It cannot be ignored that private care homes are run for profit and that this has led to some unacceptable standards and practices in the care of elderly residents.
“I hope that these cases will help to highlight the seriousness of the situation and prompt an immediate review of the current practices in place. Improving standards of care for the elderly must be prioritised now.”