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Pensioner allegedly abused in Kentish Town care home

PUBLISHED: 17:39 24 June 2011 | UPDATED: 11:27 25 June 2011

A family has spoken of their horror after a hidden camera uncovered evidence that their elderly mother was physically abused at a care home in Kentish Town.

Eighty-year-old Maria Worroll was allegedly abused for several months at the Ash Court Care Home on Ashcham Street.

Video evidence allegedly shows her being slapped, shouted at and having her arm twisted by one of the employees.

A man was arrested in connection with reported abuse on Wednesday and released on bail.

Her son John Worroll, 49, of Primrose Hill said: “My mum is a great woman. I feel very soul-destroyed by it. She worked hard all her life and treated people with kindness. I’m numb about it. I can’t believe that this can happen in this day and age.”

Family members first became suspicious after seeing bruises on Mrs Worroll’s arms. Mrs Worroll, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, is unable to speak or walk.

Mr Worroll said: “My mum has been in the care home for seven months and became tearful a month after moving in. Over the last two to three months, my sister kept speaking about the bruising on her arms. My mum was very tearful and would burst into tears whenever anybody visited her. Her food was always left on the table.”

Mrs Worroll’s daughter, Jane, decided to buy a motion-sensitive camera which she planted in Mrs Worroll’s room for four weeks.

Mr Worroll and his sister alerted the care home about the footage on Wednesday and notified the police the same day.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said “A 30-year-old man was arrested by the police on Wednesday in connection with the incident and released on bail. He is due to appear at Central London police station on July 19. The investigation is ongoing.”

The care home suspended one of their employees and are carrying an internal review of four others. A spokeswoman for Ash Court Care Centre said: “As soon as there was any indication of wrongdoing at Ash Court, the management team took immediate action. This has come as an immense shock to all at the home. One member of staff has been suspended and is now the subject of a police investigation. Four other members of staff are currently the subject of an internal review. The dignity, health and wellbeing of all the people we support at Ash Court remains our number one priority.”

Camden Council has alerted the Care Quality Commission about the incident. It is currently unclear whether Mrs Worroll will remain at the home.

A spokesman from the council said: “As this is a private care home the council would take steps to review all safeguarding arrangements. Mrs Worroll is currently still living at the home.”

Cllr Pat Callaghan, adult social care boss said: “We have been made aware of disturbing allegations. Both I and my colleagues are naturally very concerned about the allegations and members of our adult social care team are currently working with officers from Camden police to investigate the incident and reviewing the safeguarding arrangements in place for residents of the home.”


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