Breaking The Chain of Elderly Abuse Complacency - Ignorance - Denial - Silence | Reg. Charity No:1102282
BUPA in Global Moral Meltdown
By Eileen Chubb
©October 18th 2018
Whilst this article is not specifically about the events of recent weeks in relation to the acceptance that the current whistle-blowing law is not working and needs to be strengthened, which is of course very frustrating for me being the first whistle-blowing case to use and be failed by the current law and importantly to have brought those failures to the attention of the Government and Parliament at the time.
What I now expose is the disturbing and ingrained culture that exists in some organisations in relation to both their treatment of whistle-blowers and the consequences of deliberately failing to act on concerns raised by whistle-blowers.
No whistle-blowing law anywhere in the world has ever tackled this reality and as a result no whistle-blowing law has been effective in protecting whistle-blowers from such abusively toxic organisations (Other than Edna’s Law) See “There is no me in whistle-blower” The case for Edna’s Law.
Each time such a toxic organisation can act with impunity there is a future consequence, those consequences can continue for decades and result in suffering and harm on a scale that can affect thousands of lives. There is no regulator model that can tackle such toxic organisations other than the criminal sanctions proposed in Edna’s Law.
Reading the Safeguarding Adults Review into Beacon Edge the following key facts came to light,
The review was two years late being published due to BUPAs stance of not answering questions put to them.
That BUPAs position is that that the three abusive staff worked nights together and that no one could have known what they were doing.
Whilst the review fails to deal with this assertion I must point out that that two of the three abusive staff did not work alone and the evidence trail examined by police clearly shows that these staff would regularly text each other when one was working and the others were not. The crucial point missed in the review is that there were thousands of text messages to show these staff clearly worked with other members of staff who were too afraid to blow the whistle on them and given the severity of abuse I have to ask why this is a huge problem in BUPA homes?
Secondly I have to ask why when a small minority of staff do raise concerns that those concerns are not acted on and all too often staff are bullied for whistle-blowing?
The review does highlight that there was an earlier whistle-blower who raised concerns about the same abusive staff members and BUPA and the local authority both failed to heed to very loud warning bells.
The Whistle-blower reported that Benson and Bowman were verbally abusing a resident they were hoisting calling the person a “Fucker” and telling them to “Just Fucking Fall out” The whistle-blower was physically intimidated by bowman when she tried to intervene, and reported the incident to a senior carer. Whilst the incident was known to CQC and the local safeguarding the result was a vital missed opportunity to act. However the only action taken would appear to be BUPA investigating themselves with an outcome of more training in moving and handling. This incident was clearly abuse and not a moving and handling competency issue at all.
Crucially the connection between this incident and BUPAs subsequent statements in relation to later events is not directly linked in the review. However in the body of the review I found the following information,
“The registered manager gave assurances to the CQC that Benson and Bowman would not work together at Beacon Edge, however, during subsequent inspections it was noted that they continued to work together”
Firstly if the above assurances were given to CQC at the time and were subsequently noted to be contravened then why did the CQC consistently rate the home good?
Secondly BUPAs evidence in respect of the later events being exposed during the court case is documented as being,
“These staff went to great lengths to cover their tracks, they worked together on night shift…it is difficult to see how this could have been uncovered sooner… Cumbria police stated they believed that these employees were acting as a closed group and no other person was aware of or involved in their abuse”
The above is BUPAs assertion of what the police believed which raises the questions,
1. Did BUPA inform the police or prosecutors that the abusive staff, Benson and Bowman were already an identified risk at the time the offences were took place and were not supposed to be working together?
2. If BUPA did not mention this crucial evidence to police, would it not constitute conspiracy to pervert the course of justice?
3. Why was BUPAs prior knowledge of the risk not considered in terms of aiding and abetting a criminal offence?
4. If BUPA maintained this deception in any court evidence then should it not be considered perjury?
Ultimately the question must be asked if BUPA is beyond the law?
The review does find that the CQC rated the home compliant amid mounting concerns and that BUPA continually used this fact to shield them from any criticism. A tactic I seen repeatedly used by this company.
Regarding CQC, their failures are always justified with the tactic,” but we have a new inspection regime now” A tactic which has proved very effective each and every time their new inspection regimes rack up more and more failures.
The CQC and BUPA rely on three things,
That journalists will not probe too deeply or ask too many questions,
That the public will have a very short memory,
That PR and spinning the truth will make mentioning the horrendous suffering involved sound minor and anyone who disagrees will labelled “Emotive”
The Beacon Edge review goes on to highlight failing after failing but the people who suffered have no voice in this litany of mal-administration and whilst this review is more damming than many it fails completely to connect the culture within BUPA and the reality of the abuse. It always allows BUPA to PR its way past the inconvenient truth and do what it does best, deny any responsibility and get away with it.
The police recovered many thousands of texts and videos from the abusive staff’s mobile phones; BUPAS response to this information is to say that staff are not allowed to have their mobile phones at work.
This stance amounts to blaming the use of mobile phones by abusive staff as without these phones there would be no evidence and therefore no reputational damage alas no consideration to the fact that the abuse would still be happening.
BUPA moved problem managers from home to home, this again is a tactic used over and over, and it is only whistle-blowers that are speedily dispatched.
The second whistle-blower in this case worked a single shift at this home and went straight to the police. She resigned after that single shift.
What should be considered and has not been is that staff working in this home knew what happened to the first whistle-blower, she was bullied as a result of raising concerns. A fact denied by BUPA.
Talking to many BUPA staff over the years on our helpline, (Protected sources)
A disturbing culture has immerged. As a BUPA whistle-blower I have always strived to be objective when dealing with concerns received on different providers. I admit that in my determination to not target BUPA I allowed BUPA much more leeway then I would have given any other company.
However the time came when the sheer volume of concerns grew to such a Level that BUPA became easily the very worst UK care company. The following themes emerged from the information received again and again,
When something went wrong in a BUPA home it was never acted on and other people would subsequently be harmed in the same circumstances again and again,
Whistle-blowers being forced from their jobs as a result of bullying and harassment.
Staff being aware of the fate of other whistle-blowers, being too afraid to report abuse.
The intensity and prevalence of power and complacency abusers in BUPA homes (See beyond The façade for full profiles on these types of abusers)
When did this country start to accept the abuse of vulnerable people, when did we stop bearing witness to the truth and how have we allowed whistle-blowers to suffer such injustice?
When did we start to allow the truth to be censored by broadcasting and print media (with the exception of a few investigative journalists and publishers), Because,
“The facts in this case might upset viewers”
“That is too graphic to communicate”
or reports which fail to ask all the questions or give us all the facts?
When did we passively accept that the suffering of a priceless generation as being someone else’s problem, or nothing to do with us until the day our mothers and fathers are on the receiving end?
When did the authority’s that are meant to be there to protect the vulnerable start to incubate such a level of complacency that aides the very worst abusers?
When did we allow ourselves to be brainwashed by PR spin and to think that the consequences of a blame free, accountability averse society, would result in anything other than the situation we face today.
I will defy the risk of being called “Emotive” and include in this article the abuse and suffering that is known to have taken place in Beacon Edge but I ask readers to remember that for every second of recorded abuse, these staff will have abused every minute of every hour they worked in this home.
Police Statement on Beacon Edge,
“We were able to piece together through thousands, literally thousands of texts that offending had been going”
Just some examples include Chevonne Benson and William (Bill) Bowman.
Benson “Braying them don’t feel as good without you lol xxx”
Bowman “who you brayed? xxx
Benson “I went into her room while she slept and pulled her hair quickly and ran out. Now she is shouting and frightened. Ha-ha ha ha xxx”
Benson “Told her she had to move out cos she hasn’t paid her bills. Ha ha”
Benson “I said all your stuff sent to the tip Ha-ha”
Bowman ”ur getting good”
There are videos of a 90 year women being prodded in the head and chest and tormented,
A woman having her nightdress lifted by Bowman who was convicted of sexually touching a woman with dementia.
One relative said her mother really suffered and was frightened to sleep and that even though she had dementia she tried to tell her that people were in her room at night.
One woman was filmed struggling to dress herself.
Another woman was told as she had no money she had to continue to stand or pay to sit down.
Some of the videos were too harrowing to show in court.
Imagine facing this torture every day, but also we should not forget the high number of bed sores in this home, and that for the time taken to abuse vulnerable people there were hours of neglect of others.
As someone who has worked with people with dementia It is the best job in the world, you get the chance to make people safe and to feel in control of what is happening to them. I find it painful to even read what happened to people in Beacon Edge. It can only be described as torture for pleasure.
A third worker, Strong who filmed Benson and Bowman abusing was also convicted.
Breaking the Silence part three (Link below) is evidence from BUPA homes such as the Dales, where staff used their mobile phones to film their torture of vulnerable people and many more cases of abuse and neglect in UK BUPA homes. See Breaking the Silence 3 for all the known cases that involve BUPA in the UK.
We have been contacted by numerous staff and families from Australia in connection with BUPA homes there and a very similar pattern is emerging.
Last Week I read with grave concern that BUPA is asking the Australian Government for Amnesty to report abuse.
I have seen first-hand the torture of defenceless people in a BUPA home and know what BUPA did to the 7 whistle-blowers who reported it.
That we now live in a world where a company such as BUPA can ask for amnesty before reporting abuse is the final piece in this account of harrowing abuse, criminal complacency and the laws failure to protect.
The vulnerable people in BUPA homes need amnesty from the torture inflicted on them,
The whistle-blowers that worked for BUPA need amnesty from the smearing threats and loss.
The day we give amnesty to such a company as BUPA is the day we have finally sunk as low as it’s possible to get.
BUPA are summed up by the words of a whistle-blower,
“Working for BUPA is like taking a vow of Silence, keeping your mouth shut is the number one rule”
For all those who have suffered at the hands of BUPA, for Edna,