UK

Elderly care firm suspended over woman's treatment

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Media captionThe BBC has obtained footage showing multiple failings in the home care provided by a company to one woman

The firm at the centre of a row about the poor care of an elderly woman in her home has been suspended by trade body, the UK Homecare Association.

The UKHCA says it is investigating Mosaic Community Care and that the suspension means it will not recommend Mosaic to elderly or disabled people.

Footage recorded by the family of Muriel Price, 83, showed carers not turning up for visits or arriving late.

Mosaic says it is working with the UKHCA to remedy the situation.

Insulin dependent

Regulator the Care Quality Commission has announced it will bring forward the date of Mosaic's next inspection in light of the footage, which was broadcast by the BBC on Thursday.

Mrs Price's grandson installed two CCTV cameras in her house in Blackpool, Lancashire, to monitor her so she could be helped if she fell while at home alone.

However, their recordings showed carers failing to turn up when they should and behaving inappropriately on occasions.

In footage seen by the BBC, which covered a period of nearly a month, carers turned up late or not at all on at least 12 occasions.

Several other visits were much shorter than the one hour the carers were contracted for.

'Shocking and depressing'

While some carers were professional, the footage shows examples of others who were not.

The footage shows one carer sticking her fingers in food to check its temperature, while another changes incontinence pads in full view of the street.

And though Mrs Price is an insulin dependent diabetic with special dietary requirements, one carer admits to not being able to cook.

The UKHCA says it wants to ask Mosaic "what steps they've taken to address the care workers' behaviour recorded in the CCTV footage and that these have been effective".

When the BBC showed the CCTV footage to Care Minister Norman Lamb, he said it was "shocking and depressing".

In a statement, Mosaic Community Care said: "Following the BBC investigation surrounding former Mosaic Care user Muriel Price, UKHCA has temporarily suspended our membership.

"This suspension, which is standard practice, is pending satisfactory evidence that as an organisation, we took immediate action following the incidents highlighted - that we were aware of.

"We are working with UKHCA to remedy this situation and will be providing them with the relevant documentation and case history surrounding the case, along with evidence of the action we took to prevent this situation being repeated.

"As the professional association for homecare, UKHCA continue to support Mosaic Care with advice and training to address the issues raised by the footage."

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