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Panorama, behind closed doors

Last nights Panorama special featured an undercover report on the Old Deanary Care home as a result of this charitys work with Whistle-blowers. We have always highlighted the suffering that results when Whistle-blowers are ignored or unable to speak out, to see that avoidable suffering captured on film really drives this home but what should not be forgotton is that this is one of hundreds of cases where abuse happened after whistle-blowers spoke out. What is at the heart of last nights programme is not just another bad home it is the culture that always sees the whistle-blower sacked and the worst abusers keeping their jobs and often being promoted.


In media coverage preceding Panorama I heard many experts say training is going to stop abuse. You can not train abusers, whilst I accept that training can play an important role in some aspects of bad care it is only a small part of the solution.

The Whistle-blower who spoke out in Orchard View care home was not a care worker and was not trained as such and yet she could identify right and wrong and had the integrity and courage to speak out

The Whistle-blower from the old Deanary who contacted me was not a care worker she was a housekeeper and she did not need training to know right from wrong and had the integrity and courage to speak out.


The CQC issued data yesterday on how many homes had been issued with warning notices, I would have asked, how many homes have you used your maximum powers on? ie how many enforcement notices have you issued?

The CQCs record on how they respond to whistle-blowers within their own organisation hardly inspires confidence.

There is a responsability when you  take information from whistle-blowers that you ensure they suffer no consequences in giving that information, where were the CQC when the Old Deanary sacked Whistle-blowers?

What happens when a member of staff sees abuse or any wrong doing is there is always a fear there will be consequences for speaking out, that fear is nearly always well founded and how perverse that when good staff reach breaking point and then finally speak out they find themselves sacked for not speaking out earlier in a home with a cuture of silence.

Yesterday Andria Sutcliffe head of CQC social Care inspectipon said ” We are expecting people to be delivering good Care” when I inspect a care home I go with an open mind if you expect only good you would never see bad and vice versa. This is Complancy.

Yesterday the Minister Norman Lamb told Panorama that he would not tolerate abuse such as that which was uncovered last night, however actions speak louder than words. This charity has submitted evidence to the government on Whistle-blowing, Breaking the Silence parts 1 and 2 . The old Deanary whistle-blowers evidence is contained in these documents and if the response fails to take proper action following the  Panorama programe then we will continue to expose this  faliure  through the media. If the government do not act on this, the next old deanary is already happening and will continue to happen untill we protect the protecters. The staff that see abuse are those in the best position to protect the most vulnerable in care.

Eileen Chubb