Two carers have been filmed slapping, jabbing and humiliating a brain-damaged patient as he lay groaning in bed at a £3,000-a-week Priory hospital. Rita Page, 68, and Lynette Crook, 33, were caught smacking the young victim’s legs and swearing at him as they changed his bedding in Bury, Greater Manchester.
On the secretly-filmed tape, Page can be heard saying: ‘You won’t beat us, b******. There’s this very fine line between abuse and neglect.’
And Crook is heard saying: ‘Better not think about being sick on me lad. I don’t do sick, so stop it scummy lad. Don’t you dare be sick on me boy, don’t you dare – you dirty, scummy boy.’
The footage was filmed between August 28 and September 19 in 2012 by the patient’s family who were worried about his treatment at the privately-run hospital.
Believing their concerns had not been addressed by senior staff, they hid surveillance cameras around the man’s room at The Priory Highbank Centre specialist hospital for neurological treatment.
After a court case yesterday, the victim’s uncle said: ‘All institutions must be brought to justice and we wanted to make sure these two women were brought to account for what they did.
‘We were very concerned about the treatment our relative was getting and we made that many complaints that two family members got banned from the premises.
‘As a family we are more than happy with their [guilty] pleas and they will be shown up for what they are. We want a petition for cameras in care homes for vulnerable people like him. If you have nothing to be ashamed of then it won’t be an intrusion.’
Healthcare assistants Page from Bury and Crook, of Ramsbottom, near Bury, were suspended from their duties and were arrested after the footage was handed over to police.
The film emerged as Crook and Page were warned they faced jail after they pleaded guilty to charges of ill treatment of the patient on the first day of their trial at Bolton Crown Court.
Both were bailed pending a sentencing hearing in May, but a judge warned them ‘immediate custody was likely.’ The case was not opened.
Page pleaded guilty to two charges relating to use of abusive language and slapping the patient during a struggle when she put a pillow between his legs.
Crook pleaded guilty to three charges relating to her jabbing the patient in the torso and head with a pen whilst he was asleep, using abusive language and slapping his leg while taking blood pressure.
Seven other charges will lie on file. The victim, who had suffered brain damage following an accident when he was a youngster, cannot be named for legal reasons.
Malcolm Bower-Brown, Care Quality Commission regional director, said: ‘We are aware of this shocking case involving two former employees of The Priory Highbank Centre in Bury.
‘Our thoughts today are with the victim of this dreadful abuse, and their family.
‘Our most recent inspection in February 2014 found the home to be meeting the national standards reviewed.
‘However, we continue to monitor the position carefully and will not hesitate to take any regulatory action necessary to ensure residents receive the service they are entitled to expect.
‘If anyone has any concerns about The Priory Highbank Centre or any other registered service, please contact CQC.
A spokesman for The Priory Highbank Centre said: ‘Everyone at the company deeply regrets the unacceptable actions of these two members of staff – both of whom had over 10 years’ service and previously unblemished records.
‘The company will not tolerate behaviour of this nature and both healthcare assistants have been dismissed for gross misconduct.
‘This was an isolated incident and does not represent the high standards at this otherwise excellent hospital.
‘The most recent unannounced CQC inspection of the hospital is solid evidence that the hospital is providing a safe, caring and effective service to its patients. The company has issued an unreserved apology.’