Campaign for Edna’s Law
As a former care worker who saw vulnerable elderly people abused and tortured and blew the Whistle along with six other brave co-workers. The abuse was subsequently upheld but we were not protected by the law and lost our jobs.
I founded this Charity as a result of what I experienced. I believe abuse happens because of Complacency, Ignorance, Denial and Silence, most of all Silence. Every day I deal with carers who have spoken out and lost their jobs or who are too afraid to say anything. The law alleged to protect whistle-blowers, The Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) has totally failed however it has been successful in protecting Bankers Bonuses and has been so widely misused that any genuine Whistle-blower is viewed with suspicion.
I have always understood a whistle-blower to be someone who reports crimes and wrongdoing to the authorities in order to prevent further harm and bring to account those responsible and as a result of blowing the whistle is subjected to harassment or a detriment. As it stands the law thinks a whistle-blower is someone who has reported nothing to the authorities and is claiming their employment contract is in the public interest.
I am saddened to see that the term Whistle-blower has been tarnished by such abuse as I have seen the courage of those who speak out in defence of someone vulnerable and the cost to them for doing so and any law that fails to protect them is a sorry excuse.
A law that protects genuine Whistle-blowers protects us all
Those who died in such disasters as Piper Alpha or The Herald of Free Enterprise become just a number but I want their names and faces to be remembered in the hope that the Government will see the cost of failing to protect whistle-blowers.
Edna was a vulnerable elderly person who had no family to speak out for her.
This campaign is dedicated to her memory and for all those who have suffered or died because a whistle-blower was ignored or too afraid to speak out, the truth must prevail in spite of the law
Could a whistle blower have saved your loved one? Please join our campaign by posting your experiences in the comments section.
Should genuine whistle blowers be protected? A protected whistle blower protects us all, please join the campaign for Ednas Law.
Eileen Chubb ( COPYRIGHT SEPT 2012)
Previous Comments on Ednas Law
Sacked Whistle-Blower 14/8/13
It has to be said that the Inspection units and safeguarding are not fit for purpose as they are not interested in protecting vulnerable adults. Even when I complained to the regional manager of CSSIW (in Wales) about an inspector who accused me of setting up a syringe driver on a resident when I was not even on duty, he denied that she had done it despite the paperwork to evidence this. They are such powerful organisations that to complain as an individual gets you nowhere except to be flagged up as a troublemaker. They then put the word around to other homes and as Shoutoutproud has found out, they won't even consider you for a job.
I have totally turned my back on nursing and have got a few cleaning jobs and am about to start doing courier work locally to me. I have never been happier!! No stress, no being stabbed in the back and no false accusations made against me. The only people I feel sorry for are the residents.
Nursing/care work has become an extremely vindictive area to work in which is a real shame. Why is it that the people who don't give a damn get better thought of than the few who do care?
I fully support Edna Law and agree even today that whistle-blowers are not protected, I blew the whistle internally for over three years in my care home and eventually walked out of my job three weeks ago, I went to the CQC and safeguarding and I’m afraid to say that they are supporting the home in question. I have evidence to support what I was exposing and was never asked for it! I am ready to scream from the rooftops and bring this house of cards down and stand up for what is right! It’s not an easy path to follow and I am only now finding this out, every job I've applied for in my town has been turned down. I've now contacted a well know TV channel and spoken to one of their reporters, they are interested in running the story so far. Keep fighting the good fight and one day good will prevail!
Yet another exposure programme on last night's Panorama on neglect in care homes. They keep going around in circles by saying the same old thing. CQC is 'going to start getting tough with care homes' and that are 'putting systems in place to collect data of mortality rates in care homes'. Yeah - right!
This should have been done years ago IMO.
The care worker who blew the whistle - yet another caring person forced out of her job because managers won’t listen and act.
How many more TV exposure programmes have got to be shown? How many more care workers have to lose their jobs for doing the right thing?
I was truly sickened watching Panorama last night as this proves that abuse and neglect is insidious and goes on in nearly every care home due to lack of staff and the 'profit above everything' attitude of greedy proprietors.
I have just read the latest inspection report for the home that sacked me for blowing the whistle. This report was as a direct result of me sending the inspection unit a long list of all the concerns that I had raised with the manager whilst I was working there.
The report praised the fact that the owners had created a 'peaceful and tranquil' garden for the residents. It then went onto to say that they witnessed a carer trying to feed a resident who was asleep by using his hands!!!! It said that they 'nearly had to intervene in this unsafe practice' and when they spoke to the manager they were told that the staff member would be 'referred for further training' ! So, what use is the garden when residents are being treated like this?
I truly despair and I thank god that I am no longer involved in this catastrophe that is called care.
Whistle-blowers - I salute you all. It is ironic that you destroy your own careers - when you are the very individuals who have proven that your moral courage outweighs you want of money - and you should have the very highest jobs in the country because of this.
The cowardly and greedy who ignore the situations you report, and even bully you out of your jobs, will clearly take no risk at all to jeopardise their own positions, and their own income. How they can sleep at night I do not know. They should hang their heads with shame. Because by their denials, they allow abuse. By their persecution of the whistle-blowers, they actively encourage it. They are as guilty as the perpetrators of the abuse.
"Not on our watch"? They simply won't watch then. And they'll argue there is nothing to watch. Any they will silence those who say any different.
Daring to Care 12/3/13
You are a star.
Finding you gave both me and a fellow whistle-blower the strength we needed when time was getting hard. We was both lucky to have meet Eileen and even if above anything else we felt we had some one that understand our story,
and for that we cannot thank you enough ...xx
Ok I worked in care for 3yrs or more, I was new to the job but as someone that loves to help everyone I meet and had ill heath myself. I couldt wait to start. we that’s as good as it gets for now. I dared to care, We dared to care. and from the point onwards they made my life a living hell.
I know that they are feeling very pleased with what they have done to me lost job,home,life,baby,ill/mental health and was attacked by the person I had reported.
To many a whistle-blower is a trouble maker, or they thing you much have done something for the people you work for to turn on you like that??
I spoke out because I could not and would not see any one in a home being treated like that, I was one of 5 whistle-blowers in the end ( 5 of 45 people had all spoke out about) yet they did not want to know management,CQC,GMB.
so then the bulling started, isolation, been falsely accused of things, the house visits (worked nights) the nonstop phone calls though out the day(I should have been sleep) playing us off against each other, meeting etc.. the list goes on
Until they finally used me to keep everyone else from speaking out!!
This is only a little of what I have experiences over the last 4 and half years of my life.
I’ve been left with nothing!! But I can hole my head high.
My experience will stay with me for the rest of my life, as will the stigma of ending up on the pova list (thanks for that one ),loss of home, child/baby , friends, job and any future jobs I could hope to go for!
Most of all if has broken my close friends and family heart watching me go through this kind of treatment and seeing the biggest cover up of our lives.
I only hope this stops now!! no one should have to go through what I did or the many people that have already gone through this kind of treatment.
It need to end now.
if anyone would like to talk to someone that has already gone through or is going through something like this then please feel free to contact me ;-) (Eileen) have my email address
I’m with Edna's law all the way ...
Daring to care xx xx xx
What a heart-breaking story from Mr John Davies but his terrible experiences of trying to do the right thing is so familiar. It is almost as if these managers have a secret handbook or set of rules that only apply to themselves. Adult protection and the regulators are worse than useless and should be ashamed of themselves as they are often part of the cover up.
The home that I worked in had a whistleblowing policy and even had 3 members of staff who were 'whistle-blower supporters', the idea being that other staff could go to these 3 staff to share any concerns. I was one of the 3 staff and I 'blew the whistle' repeatedly both in writing and verbally until eventually I was suspended and like John, was not made aware of what the allegations against me were. I eventually found out that I failed to fill in one accident form! Suspended for 9 weeks then sacked for gross misconduct (the accident form), I appealed but they kept delaying on the date for appeal and went against their own policies (starting to sound familiar?). I was fortunate that Unison were very good and when we eventually l got to appeal the home was very willing to put a compromise agreement in place but please don’t think that I made mega bucks as I didn't - 7 weeks’ pay but better than nought. The most disappointing part for me was they failed to recognise the whistleblowing part of it - they just wanted it all covered up and to get shot of the troublemaker (me). They referred me to vetting & barring and yesterday, I received a letter from vetting & barring informing me that I will not be included on the barred list for working with children and vulnerable adults.
So - I feel vindicated up to a point but the stress, ill health, loss of confidence and anger has taken its toll on me. I will never again work in healthcare as I could not trust any manager to effectively do the job that they should be doing and that is to help prevent abuse happening and to listen to what people on the ground are saying to them. I often think of my residents, all of whom had advanced dementia and wonder if any staff there will speak out after they saw what the home did to me for speaking out. The culture of 'shoot the messenger' prevails!
Mr Davies - you should be proud of yourself as you have tried to do the right thing - you have not failed, it is the toothless people who call themselves managers who have failed both the clients and yourself. Hold your head high as you have courage, spirit and moral integrity as have all people who put themselves through this nightmare called whistleblowing.
I support Edna's law as something has to be done quickly to prevent more resident's being abused and staff suffering for trying to protect them.
Delyth Jenkins 12/3/13
You are a very brave man John Davies and I am glad you were put in touch with me last week. I know by this man's behaviour that the Senior Manager you are referring to in your account is Officer G in the Ombudsman's report, because I suffered too at his hands. In fact I met with the Director of Social Care and a Business Manager (Officer M in the Ombudsman's report- now promoted to Head of Mental Health & Learning disabilities) in November 2006, and during this meeting I told them both that Officer G had now become very devious and was using other people to bully for him whilst offering them protection. Five days later, I hand delivered a grievance against Officer G to Officer M, and during this brief meeting Officer M told me that when I told him and the Director the previous week as above, he said he and the Director looked at each other, nodded and agreed with me.
I asked why the hell hadn't they done anything about it? Officer M told me that they didn't have enough on him yet. Officer G had been bullying staff for years by this time and Senior Officers knew this. Officer M is the same person who admitted to me in correspondence that it was his decision not to include all the allegations of abuse of a vulnerable person by a Manager in her disciplinary. Yet less than two years later he was promoted to Head of Mental Health & Learning disabilities on a permanent basis, despite being severely criticised by the Ombudsman.
The Council's whistle blowing policy is a waste of time. I followed this but it failed to protect me. I contacted the advocacy service but as staff we were betrayed. I also wrote to the Chief Executive of Carmarthenshire County Council in July 2006 describing vividly the abuse that was going on, but I was offered no assistance. This was after I had exhausted every reporting avenue within the Authority. Policies and Procedures are routinely not followed.
Ann Roberts 12/2/13
I am lucky. I have not been falsely accused, isolated and targeted for whistleblowing, but have seen it happen to others and seen the devastating impact it has - on their confidence, their health and on their families. When someone is suspended an official note goes out telling colleagues not to contact them.
When I stopped working for Carmarthenshire County Council 18 months ago I considered asking (under the FOI act) - how many whistle-blowers still worked for the department. In the end I didn't as I guessed the answer would be - they have no whistle-blowers.
Does anyone reporting abuse or making a complaint ever begin by saying - "under the whistle-blowers policy I am telling you....." Would it make any difference if they did? Does everyone write their complaint down? Maybe there should be a whistle-blower’s form in every department with the Whistle-blower’s Policy - with copies going up the management line to the top.
The act of whistleblowing could certainly do with being formalised in order to avoid the automatic in-house cover-up response that seems widespread. You are to be congratulated for bringing this issue to the forefront and onto the agenda.
You are right that outside agencies need to be involved but how to ensure that these relationships do not become cosy over time when people come into regular contact with each other. They are in danger of becoming susceptible to the secret "word in the ear" as seen with the police and the press at Hillsborough and with the police, the press and politicians at the Leveson inquiry. This mutual "sorting of the problem" as between managers and union reps - to name but two - the "I'll scratch your back - you scratch mine" method between different institutions that come into contact regularly over time is difficult to stop once started and hardens into a very unhealthy secretive culture. Proper independent scrutiny would bring openness and transparency.
All the best with Edna's law.
John Davies 11/3/13
Dear Eileen Chubb ,
Thank you for taking the time to Email me. As requested I have altered the size of my draft and working on my presentation for Edna's Law web page. I hope you can use this on your web page ASAP.
Please use my story on your site and feel free to discuss this with me anytime.
I did feel I had a great weight lifted off my shoulders writing this. I will never recover from the poor treatment I received these experiences being cared for by CCC and recently my experiences working for CCC.
My family and I have paid a heavy price for doing the right thing. My pension, Job and prospects have been ruined due to poor management, also the corrupt way they conduct their investigations and the unjustifiable punishment given to whistle blowers.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Between 1965 and 1979 I was placed in the care of Carmarthenshire County Councils children’s services. I was just 2 years of age and stayed in care until my 16th birthday. These were painful, lonely and desperate years; I was subjected to abuse by some staff and older boys within the homes.
Two of my older brothers were placed within a residential school in Llanybydder. This School was for individuals who had learning and physical disability, also challenging behaviours and deemed as problem children.
When my older brother was 16, he left the school leaving our younger brother on his own. Soon after my brother hung himself, he was just 14 years of age. This was due to the bullying from others sharing the residential school and care staff that didn't care or understand his cries for help.
When I was 16, I left the institution I called home and made a life for myself, working hard, got married, also had two beautiful children and managed to buy a lovely home. I followed the right path whilst moving on from my painful past.
I now got to know my brothers and sisters, we all reflect on a sorry painful and sad childhood. I became a butchery manager for 21 years dealing with the public and loving the position I held within our community.
At the age of 38 I had a change of career and worked for Carmarthenshire County Council local Authority as a care worker. I worked in many different settings gaining experience and knowledge caring for some complex and unique individuals. I had experienced the horrors of neglect, abuse and torment; I was ignored as a child and hoped my experiences would help others understand the loneliness of being in care. I gave the care job everything I had and hoped I was making a difference.
I became disillusioned by the attitude of some staff and management. I reported my concerns and yes I “Whistle blowed” I hoped time had moved on from the dark days of the 1960′s and 1970′s how wrong could I have been.
In 2010 I had taken my concerns to senior management and an investigation took a year to conclude. This complaint was in relation to my concerns working for a care home as a senior care practitioner. My complaint was investigated by a senior manager from another service provided by the same Authority, everything was in house and behind closed doors. Eventually a year later at the end of February 2011 I was informed of the investigations conclusions. The report was given and I was told “nothing would change,” but my concerns would be logged and noted.
Unbeknown to me; I was been targeted by management and by some disgruntled unproductive colleagues. My work was being scrutinised, also questions were being asked and I was being labelled as a “trouble maker.”
CCC Management say encourage employees to whistle blow, but in reality this isn't the case. Employees are given supervision (a meeting between an employee and line manager to discuss work life balance and any issues they may want to discuss). We also have appraisals but have little or no feedback.
Management can see if there’s rivalry, jealousy, or bitterness between staff, they have the information and have complete control. We care staff obey our management by being discreet and keeping our discussions confidential.
I have witnessed corrupt Management who have exploited their positions of power. I was too busy doing my job to realise some management were plotting. Individuals I worked with were being told I was a whistle blower and I was being unfairly labelled.
A month or so after 3rd of May 2011; I was called to a meeting with my senior manager. I wasn't for-warned and I wasn't asked to have someone to accompany me.
I was informed that a complaint had been made against me a month before 11th of April 2011. I was not told, or aware of any complaint during that month, I asked who had made a complaint and when it was reported? I was only given a reason to suspend me and asked to go home and wait for a call to be interviewed.
After 5 months of waiting; I was called into a meeting and I was asked questions about the allegation of swearing. I was not informed who had made this complaint, I was only given a date when it was allegedly reported. It seemed to me to be unfair unjust and untrue to be suspended for allegedly swearing, also not knowing who had said this and being completely innocent of the charge.
I was kept in the dark for almost a year. The experience was awful and it made me very ill. Why wasn’t I given the chance to answer the alleged complaint at the time it was reported? Why wasn’t I given a verbal or written warning and why did it take almost a year to conclude?
4 days before the disciplinary hearing I was given “the pack” (this is the report and all the statements during the investigation). I could see for the first time who had made the complaint and the sequence of events. The investigating officer’s interviews were very poor and the two who made the complaint contradicted each other’s statements. I was interviewed once for 40 minutes within the year of suspension, the two accusers were interviewed 5 times and each time their statements changed.
Eventually almost a year later I was called to a disciplinary; I thought common sense would prevail. I had an unblemished works record throughout my working life. I was a Parent Governor for 4 years at my children’s school, I was also a tenants and Residents chairperson in my local ward and I had worked as a butchery manager for 21 years, I had good people skills, was honest and trustworthy. I presented 27 character references from colleagues, Managers and professionals I had worked with during my time with CCC.
I had evidence to support my innocence and the evidence against me was contradictory and very poor. there were 20 clients being supervised the day of the alleged incident and another member of staff. Not one of these individuals said anything happened that day and we all worked in the same room. Nothing can prepare one for the unfairness of injustice. I was sacked for gross misconduct on an allegation of swearing!!!!!
I appealed the decision; 2 appeals were cancelled and one appeal was aborted just after starting. On the 4th appeal I was very ill being in the dark for over 18 months and now I had to defend myself for something I would not and did not do. The Councillors seemed not to care, the chair was yawning and each time I tried to put my case across he asked me to move on. The councillors upheld the decision of CCC to sack me on the grounds of gross misconduct.
I immediately applied to an Employment tribunal and had a date to appear. I was confident justice would be heard and my name would be cleared. Soon after I received a letter asking me to a Pre Hearing, this was because I was out of time to take my case to an Employment Tribunal; if one is sacked one only has 3 months to apply. I relied on my Union to assist me because I had never experienced anything like this before.
My Union informed me they would not be supporting me at the Pre Hearing, I was very disappointed with their service throughout my suspension, Disciplinary and Appeal. I attended the Pre Hearing on my own and was told due to the Councils delays hearing my Appeal, also my Union not putting in an application before the appeal being heard and I was one month over the time limit. This all caused me to be unable to challenge the Council’s decision in an Employment Tribunal. Unfortunately I had received little or no support and poor information off my Union. I was appointed a liaison officer by the CCC, but never heard from him throughout the process.
My experiences as a child were awful; thankfully I was too young to know better and ignorance helped me cope with my sad and lonely childhood. I am now a 50 year old man with health issues, a mortgage and a young family. My ignorance dealing with employment issues hasn't helped me, it’s given the Council and my Union the power to shut me up and throw me out of a job I cared about. I worry for the clients who cannot move on, or defend themselves and other staff who are too frightened to speak up.
The system is unjust, uncaring and wrong. My senior resource manager always said "Play the game, keep them happy and don't make waves!" "He also said if I was to do him a favour he would look after me and I would be included within his inner circle!" I could say about other conversations but they would upset parents of clients we cared for. This man is still in his job; my head of services and senior management know this man's history and we also have an Ombudsman report that clearly shows who are at fault within CCC. Unfortunately no action has ever been taken against the team who run adult services within CCC.
My experiences will be with me for the rest of my life, also the stigma associated with being in care and being thrown out of the care service has left its mark and devastated my family life. No one deserves to be treated like this, the Government needs to hear Whistle Blowers cries for justice and act before other individuals suffer at the hands of a poor care services and some uncaring corrupt management within Social Care Health and Housing.
Kind regards John Davies
Delyth Jenkins 9/3/13
The Public Interest Disclosure Act has completely failed whistle-blowers. In my experience abusers, and Managers who cover up abuse are protected.
I am a former whistle-blower who reported abuse of a vulnerable person by a Manager within a day Centre run by Carmarthenshire County Council.
I took my complaint to the Public Services Ombudsman For Wales in 2006 and he completely vindicated my complaint but was extremely critical of the Council. Despite my complaint being upheld, the Council officers have not been made accountable and remain anonymous because their names were hidden behind letters of the alphabet within the report. I was accused of a conspiracy and of breaching confidentiality. The Investigating officer who interviewed us as witness’s breached confidentiality, and the information we gave him was discussed by the abuser and some of the staff the following day at our place of work. The investigating officer tried to get me to withdraw my allegations. I was accused of becoming obsessed with the complaint.
The Manager of the day centre stopped me from having lunch with service users and other staff just to punish me. Staff told me they were told by the Manager not to speak to me, others told me they were told to watch what they said to me and to avoid coming into my office. I felt completely
isolated and it was meant to wear me down. I know of others who have blown the whistle but are too afraid to speak out. Unless there is accountability nothing will change and the abuse will continue. In my experience it is not the failure of care staff to report abuse, but what happens to that information once allegations have been made, and the way senior Managers cover up the abuse and turn on the carers, that is the problem.
Any change to the law must include the fact that Managers failing to deal with allegations of abuse should face criminal charges. It must also be a criminal offense to harass, intimidate or punish a whistle-blower. I have also heard of other terrible things that have happened to other whist blowers within Carmarthenshire County Council. Unless these Managers are held to account, the abuse will continue because staff will be too afraid to report.
D. Cole 9/3/13
9th March 2013
My daughter started at a care home about 4 years ago and I was so pleased with her new job. It started really well and she was doing all her training and doing her NVQ 2. She was loving the residents at the home and they really liked her. But I then had to listen to her complain day after day about things that were not right. I found this very hard as I work in the care field myself and would not like to have to witness this kind of abuse. I work with mental health SU. My daughter is also disabled but has always tried to work, but found this job very hard mentally with what she was witnessing each day and had to be signed off for depression. Her doctor spoke with her and was not happy with what she told her and decided to report it to CQC and then HELL broke out. When she made a complaint about what was happening they turned it around and started to accuse her of doing things even when she had been off ill from work. There was a number of people who said they would speak up too but it seems they were then paid off and retracted there statements. The CQC had a number of calls and had informed the home of the people that had called them. My daughter also lost a baby she was carrying due to catching a virus at work. She was then dismissed from work losing the job she had really loved. She decided to get in touch with the union who did not want to take the case on. This place made my daughter’s life a living hell ending with her having to take this home to a tribunal and this case continues, my daughter lost her job her home and is now homeless living in a hostel. Last week in court she also found out that she had been put on the POVA list (All because she thought it was her duty to speak up for adults been abused in her work place. They call this WHISTLEBLOWING (Joke) all the nurses turned against her and the manager was walked out but still this is still going on. Who is standing up for people who open their mouth? And stick up for residents in care, NO ONE. Lose your job and no one will give you any money if your case is going through a tribunal then you still gets nothing. Who is going to help my daughter now, who is going to give her a job now please tell me? I don’t know what to do or how to help her.
A wanting Mother
I have been suspended on full pay for the last 18 months. I work in a care home and was asked by a service user to assist her in reporting abuse, and I decide to whistle blow. Since that day the knives were in my back, they made up a charge of psychological abuse against me. I didn't find out why I was suspended for 6 months and then it took another 1 year 1month to tell me the substance of the charge. I was found not guilty, that was in Nov 12, however they are now bringing in a new charge of loss of trust and confidence and I am awaiting the next hearing. I have since filed a grievance and have that hearing next week,
Jim Bell 25/2/13
My son's partner was employed in a private Nursing Home in Waltham Abbey when she witnessed an assault by care worker on an elderly resident. She confronted the carer & her accomplices immediately and reported/whistle blew the incident to an off duty manager 6 hours later. The result : SHE was disciplined and sacked for 'gross misconduct' on the grounds that she had not reported the assault immediately. Now for the twist : at The Watford Employment Tribunal the care home put forward their case which was that no such assault had taken place and the whole incident was a fabrication. So their defence was now that they sacked her for not reporting something which they now said never happened. Confused ??. Even an unfriendly Judge found in her favour and stated he was sure an incident did take place but it was not his responsibility to investigate the assault. So sadly another case of a whistle blower with a year of stress battling a system which was allegedly meant to protect her. My support for Eileen and comfort to other whistle blowers who have been 'wronged'
Audrey Revell 25/2/13
My beautiful daughter was treated in a neglectful way. She was 34 but had lost her sight aged 7 and her hearing in her teens. She was a high achiever academically and doing a degree course. But when her baby was three Jan became emotionally ill and was admitted to a mental health clinic. She was hypersensitive to drugs but no one would listen to our claims. When she became very disturbed she was shut in a room and left on her own on a mattress on the floor and only when she became quiet were the staff told to go in and stroke her on the head, as you would a dog, and tell her she was a good girl. Can you imagine just how scared she was. She was sectioned so we could not remover her. She was in a terrible state and screaming with the pain. After 10 months she was rushed into ICU and on life support for two weeks. Before her support was switched off we were asked if we could give permission for an MRI. We had asked several times for this. It was discovered that she had ear to ear brain damage never seen before and her brain was sent to three top experts who could not determine how such damage could have been caused. Jan was made to stand and wash herself and she had bruises where she had fallen several times. She was, at the end of her life, referred to the medical ward as a case of 'self-starvation'. We waited two years for a two day inquest and death by natural causes was brought in. I then got the NHS Ombudsman to take up the case and after four years the doctor was cleared with a question mark over whether Jan had an idiosyncratic reaction to the drugs(and there were many given) administered. I later discovered from her notes that she had been suffering Encephalopathy and needed the appropriate treatment of that but it was never ever diagnosed until the end of her life. The nursing staff would not speak out against this doctor except for a little junior nurse who said 'we have to abide by what she says' meaning the doctor who ran the unit. The OT came to us twice during case meetings to say that another young woman had died in the unit, I couldn't understand why she made a point of telling us this but when I later approached her to give evidence she refused. I have written a book 'Take my Hand' by Audrey Revell if anyone is interested. I tell of the cover up and arrogance of a doctor who would not or did not wish to listen to us. It is a terrible indictment of our mental health services and the awful treatment of our vulnerable people. Our GPs wanted for me to take this to the courts of human rights but my health gave in and I am now disabled. I would fight on if I could.
Good luck with all that you do.
Eileen I saw you on TV last Sunday and cheered your courage.
Doreen Gower 25/2/13
I have only worked a couple of years doing care work and can see the potential for bullies to prevail, with Managers under pressure to keep staff costs as low as possible while the Care Home owners drive around in top of the range Rovers etc., and sell off the Homes for profit. I support the Campaign of Edna's Law and hope all care workers will join this campaign
I'm sure that many of you above, who've had experience of the Tribunals system, will be able to say whether or not you felt you had experience of these principles in action at all during any proceedings you've been involved with. But another problem with State laws is that the Civil Procedures Rules were amended if not entirely replaced in 1998 and they apparently even allow the judiciary to issue 'Summary judgements without any hearing at all', which is in direct violation of the rights under Article 14 above.
So if you support this campaign then you should perhaps widen it to include respect for Universal Human Rights and a single law to protect them instead of the confusing mess which is not operating universally throughout the UK.
Delyth Jenkins 24/2/13
Just seen Eileen on The Big Questions on BBC1 with Nicky Campbell. The contribution Eileen gave was very powerful and very moving.
The Government must react to this and change legislation. In my experience, having witnessed abuse of a vulnerable person in a Carmarthenshire County Council run day centre, it was the failure of management to deal with the abuse, their attempts at covering it up and their treatment of me as a whistle-blower, that was the problem. There must be accountability at management and senior management level when Organisations fail to act. It is through accountability that staff will have the confidence to report wrongdoing. Not making Managers and senior Mangers accountable gives out the message that this kind of behaviour is tolerable and this will silence anyone thinking of reporting wrongdoing.
If the Mangers are shown zero tolerance when they fail, staff will have the confidence to report.
Sacked Whistle-Blower 23/2/13
Tina - I am so pleased that you have found Eileen and found empathy, understanding and support from her. You, like most of us that come to Eileen, have been through a terrible experience for trying to do the right thing and it is a disgrace that good, honest and moral people have been treated so dreadfully by the very people who should not be doing these things or allowing things to happen.
You are so right to say that you are now richer in spirit now even though the daily practical struggles continue. Feel proud of yourself and remember that you are not alone.
Tina Quinn 21/2/13
Last Tuesday, the 12th February, I spoke to Eileen Chubb for the first time. Her name was passed to me by the newly launched, support and campaign group for Whistle-blowers, WBUK.
After speaking to Eileen I felt all the tension go from my neck and shoulders, having carried the burden of my own isolation for the past two years. There is no protection for Whistle-blowers at all. The Public Sector is riddled with wrongdoers. You would never believe the huge numbers of people that organisations manipulate, intimidate or actually bully into helping them do whatever is necessary to silence Whistle-blowers, until you have been in that position.
I knew I was not alone and have noticed how our society has become increasingly cold and cruel over the past 15 or so years. Until I had experienced it myself, I had never realised how low people would stoop to cover wrongdoing. It would amaze you to see what lengths these disgusting people will go to silence Whistle-blowers; decent, honest people. Hounded out of their jobs, unfairly dismissed, cast aside and unprotected for trying to do the right thing. It's a disgrace.
Speaking to Eileen, comparing our stories and treatment, helped me realise I wasn’t losing my mind. She reminded me I was a good and decent person and I then told her I was writing a book about my own experience. It is the only way I am going to get any type of justice.
Eileen offered to send me a copy of her book, ‘Behind the Facade’. I received her book on Thursday, the 14th. Initially, I told myself that as I had loads of things to do and my own book to add to, I would read her book later. I made the mistake of taking a break and sitting down to read her book. I could not then put it down and continued reading it for the rest of the day.
As I read her story I sobbed. For every elderly person she described and what then happened to them, at the hands of their abusers, I imagined the same thing happening to people I loved and cared about. I sobbed for the injustice meted out to Eileen and her 6 fellow Whistle-blowers. The appalling treatment they endured from their abusive colleagues, BUPA and the legal system, was diabolical.
Then came the anger. Why on earth can’t we do anything about this in this damn country of ours? Why does it fall to the tenacity of people who have already suffered beyond human endurance, people like Eileen Chubb, to fight this ever increasing problem. She has had to take on the abusers, their managers, senior personnel, huge corporations, local and national government ad nauseam, on her own, relying on small donations from the public, falling well short of what she actually needs to carry on fighting for the rights of those who are too vulnerable to fight for themselves.
However, it is no good Eileen carrying on fighting a huge system, exposing abuse if those doing the abusing are not punished for their failure to provide basic care for other human beings. We all need to join together and kick the backsides of all of our politicians, applying pressure on their sorry arses to earn the money we keep throwing at them.
Eileen Chubb should be in charge of the CQC (Care Quality Commission) because the highly paid board are failing to publicise what they know to be happening. They consistently fail to remove the abusers and those covering up abuse. Meanwhile, while the are being handsomely paid to do next to nothing, because they don’t care, Eileen Chubb has had to become a one-woman crusader, exposing failing care homes. Those who should be listening to her, bury the evidence she sends them or make excuse after excuse for huge corporations milking people of millions or billions in care home funding.
Please support Eileen. One day you will need care. Surely, you want to be part of the solution to improve that care, for the time when you may need it.
Speaking to Eileen, I heard the honesty and integrity, so clearly a part of who she is, and I instinctively felt I could trust this woman. Trust in others is something that I have lost in my fight over the past couple of years.
I will never be able to repay her for what she did for me. She didn't judge me or contradict me, she simply listened. No-one can put a price on that.
I have no money. I attempt to live on JSA of less than £3 a day. I have the constant threat of losing my flat hanging over my head. I cannot get a job because after working for more than 30 years, 20 as a teacher, I have been rendered unemployable by being unfairly dismissed, without a reference, by my former Head Teacher and Haringey Council, all in order for them to cover up her fraudulent and ethical mismanagement of the school.
However, I am richer in spirit now than I have ever been. It took Eileen to remind me of that. I know what I did was right. I had a totally unblemished career doing a job that defined me as a person. The only job I ever wanted, from the age of 7.
Eileen, thank you. Let me know what I can do to help you fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.
Mitzi Bales 16/2/13
This is one of the worthiest campaigns I know of and it deserves the widest of support. We must write our MPs. We must give moral support and financial support if possible. In addition, all of us should be grateful for the self-sacrificing work of Eileen Chubb and her colleagues in organising and maintaining this important campaign.
This is one of the worthiest campaigns I know of and it deserves the widest support. We must write our MPs. We must give our moral support and financial support if possible. Likewise, we should express our appreciation for the self-sacrificing work of Eileen Chubb and her colleagues for organising and maintaining this important campaign.
Sacked Whistle-blower 30/1/13
There is a story in my local newspaper about an elderly gentleman who shot himself rather than be put into a care home. So very sad...
Christine England 29/1/13
Wendy, I totally agree with "sacked whistle-blower" above, you do need to talk it out wherever you can, many of us have been there in similar circumstances, so please know that you are not alone in dealing with this, and Eileen has created a powerful site here for us to combine our forces for change. You should continue to hold your head high because you have your self-respect and the respect of all those others who know how it feels to be forced out of a job you love when you've tried your best.
Sacked Whistle-blower 17/1/13
Wendy - do ring Eileen or email her - she will be a great comfort to you right now. She will know how you are feeling as I do but you will not feel like this forever. Please keep in mind at all times that you tried to do the right thing by your residents which is much more than you colleagues and management have done by the sound of it. Why should it be so wrong for anyone to say 'hold on - things are not right here'?
It is laughable that the NMC can say that we must 'always act in the best interest of the patient' yet when we try to this by speaking out we are set up, disciplined and in my case, sacked! The regulators are useless - they do not want to know.
I was a manager of a large EMI care home a few years ago and when I took it over it was under embargo for the third time in as many years. I was summoned to a meeting with 12 people. Adult protection, inspectors, social workers the whole works. I was grilled for 2 hours by this lot about how I would make a difference. They made it very clear that this home would not be getting any more chances and if it failed to meet standards again it would be closed down. That was in 2007. Now in 2012 the home has had a further 4 managers and 2 further embargos due to staffing issues and the number of adult protection referrals. So why haven’t they put their money where their big mouths are and closed it down? Because they have not got anywhere else to place the residents. It is all political and these toothless people just go on saying the same thing year after year. I have not one ounce of respect for these people because they are not doing the jobs that most of them are highly paid to do.
A friend who is a nurse working in a small care home phoned me last night in tears and recounted to me a number of appalling incidents in the home that she had witnessed. These were mostly done by the manager of the home - someone who the inspectors had concerns about but went ahead and registered her as a fit person to manage the home! My friend is too frightened to speak out as she knows what happened to me.
Sorry to rant on but the whole system and the people who are involved in it stinks and it is caring people like staff and relatives who speak out having to suffer like this but more importantly the poor vulnerable people in these hell homes are suffering on a daily basis.
Wendy Joseph 14/1/13
Just had my last shifts - I tried to whistle blow, and it was made very clear that I should shut up or I’d be 'set up'. Worked hard, I can hold my head high so why do I feel almost suicidal? I loved my job and the residents but I cannot understand the behaviour of my colleagues - ignoring abusive care, covering up, protecting themselves and their PINS before care. This is a disgusting system - home owners and managers and rogue care staff get away with murder, literally. My reference was rubbish - I want redress NOW, not next century. All I ever wanted to do was be a great nurse and a great colleague. The price became too much for me, 20 years’ experience for what?
Delyth Jenkins 10/1/13
Eileen got the message across so well yesterday morning on daybreak. This lady has experienced first-hand what's wrong with the system as it stands.
Pity that the regulators don't take a leaf out of her book and do the job right.
Sacked Whistle-Blower 9/1/13
Saw Eileen on 'Daybreak' this morning - well done and she was right - the whole system needs to be scrapped and members of the public with common sense to be involved
Delyth Jenkins 8/1/13
In my experience it is not the failure of care staff to report abuse, but what happens to that information once it is reported, and how Management
use their energy to covering up that abuse and belittling and ridiculing the whistle-blower that is the problem. The new law needs to properly protect whistle-blowers and hold Managers to account for failure. If there is no accountability nothing will change.
Sacked Whistle-Blower 7/1/13
Has anyone read the report of the mid staffs hospital enquiry? - it makes very disturbing reading. Again, there were staff and relatives who 'blew the whistle' on poor care and they were ignored. My GP's son in law worked there and when he raised concerns he was suspended. He left and found a job somewhere else. It is all so predictable and very wrong. We must keep going forward with Edna’s law as something has got to change and quickly!
A Nurse 10/12/12
I fight every day to give care and it is like banging your head against a wall, have been told I am too compassionate. I support your campaign as it is the only thing I have seen that will change things, I hope they listen to you when they come to write a law to protect whistle-blowers as it stands silence reigns.
L. Andrews 7/12/12
I lost my father because whistle-blowers were ignored, the government need to start listening before any more people have to suffer. This Christmas I will have to deal with the grief of that loss and it is at this time of year such loss is most keenly felt, grief is hard but is part of losing someone you love but what is harder is knowing that my father could have been saved, I support Edna’s law, please do not give up this fight.
Heather Mills 28/11/12
The importance of whistle-blowers was recognised 12 years ago when the law was changed supposedly to protect and encourage them to come forward and report abuse and wrongdoing. Sadly it is not worth the paper it was written on. Whistle-blowers continue to pay a heavy price for exposing malpractice, often driven from their jobs, ostracised, facing lengthy, costly and stressful legal proceedings. It is astonishing that so many are still prepared to put their heads above the parapet to do the right thing and they should be applauded - and crucially protected. That is why this campaign must be supported. Whistle-blowers are vital to the protection of the vulnerable, who are so often left without a voice when they enter care.
Trish Southern 28/11/12
To 'whistle-blower' who has posted above - 'well done you!' I also know from personal experience (read my post 'sacked whistle-blower') on here, how the system works when you report concerns. I too am now not able to work due to stress and anxiety after they sacked me for reporting a nurse for roughly handling a dying resident. I am due to have the appeal of this next week but my real concern is that the person responsible is still working at the home and this is usually the case when people like us speak out. It is a case of 'shoot the messenger'. Report something and you can be sure that they will come back at you with counter allegations of the most ridiculous nature. I will never work as a nurse again as I am too ashamed of the profession now to want to be part of it but I want to be able to support Eileen and her campaign.
I too have had my reputation smeared and as I live in a small community it is hard but I go out and hold my head up as I KNOW I did the right thing by speaking out - you and all the others must also do this - hard on times I know...
From this website it has become very evident that there are lots of people both staff and relatives that need an avenue to vent their feelings and emotions. Maybe we need a process where we can contact each other by phone or email to offer and receive support.
A Whistle-Blower Says 28/11/12
From A Whistle-blower.
I heard you on Radio Kent today and wanted to say thank you. You are clever and brave and articulate and your observations of what is wrong with this Whistle-blower Protection as it stands now is right on the nail! I wish I had been able to do more when I was seeing the abuse that took place over my 38 years of working both in private nursing homes, NHS nursing homes and in NHS hospitals.
I am a registered nurse of 38 yrs. unblemished service. In that time I have seen appalling abuse and neglect of the elderly. I am a whistle-blower, I have complained a lot. I have suffered greatly for it over the years. I have lost my job four times because of this and the last time three years ago I took the PCT to court for trying to bully me out of my job (GP Practice Nurse). When I wrote to my manager to complain, they suspended me from my clinical practice stating that I was not fit to practice! The law states that you cannot punish a person for whistleblowing. They did. They started a smear campaign, they accused me of things that I had never done. I fought and fought, they made up more and more lies even resorting to contacting GP surgeries and practice managers after I had left and sued them for Constructive Dismissal to ask them if I had "done anything inappropriate"(these notes were found when the court case was in progress as they have to disclose). One practice manager that I had not got on with said that I made babies cry more than the other nurses when I injected them !!!! I went through hell. I knew when I took the PCT to court that I would not work again. I also really wanted the Tribunal to have someone medical on it because I knew that they wouldn't be able to understand the way that it works internally, in my particular job I was in fact an independent practitioner and not under the auspices of the non-medical/administrative manager. They didn't get it but I won my case anyway. I did not get properly compensated because the Tribunal evidently didn't like the letter I sent to my manager, because I stated "if you think that you are going to get away with it this time you are very much mistaken". They had already bullied 18 of my colleagues out of the job because of their ages and qualifications, we were expensive!!! The letter I wrote to the manager was otherwise as polite as I could make it, no swear words, nothing of any other concern, seen and approved by the RCN. They put me through 9 months of hell, I was accused of everything you can think of, when I was suspended, and my colleagues all thought that I had really done something so my reputation went down the pan (no smoke without fire). I received £5000 for lost wages and holiday pay. That did not cover my costs. I have not worked since. I have been ill with the stress of it all, I have been successfully punished and now must know my place!
After two years of court costs (I paid them myself) I had lost all my savings and am now struggling at a time of my life when I thought that I would be comfortable. You see, this is what happens when you fight for a principle, you just can't win really, I was so confident when I proceeded, I had no idea! Even the fact that I only got £5000 told the world that I must have done something wrong otherwise I would have got lots of compensation! I am very angry, very bitter and steaming to do something, anything, to change things both for the vulnerable elderly and for the whistle-blower, things must not remain the same! If I can help in any way please contact me. All my best wishes for your campaign.
Norma Sedler 22/11/12
Hurrah for Eileen Chubb! She gives power to the powerless and courage to the cowardly. I've witnessed casual neglect and hostile, mocking behaviour towards patients when visiting family and friends and I feel sick at heart and ashamed of myself that sometimes I didn't confront the culprit; anxious that my complaints might provoke repercussions on the patient, and also because I felt intimidated. On one occasion, my late mother told me and a physio-therapist, that she had not been helped to the toilet during the night. A nurse overheard and laughingly called out, 'You've been dreaming, Miriam!'
My friend had a brain operation which had caused partial paralysis, and she was only able to eat slowly. An orderly harassed her continually, because she wanted to finish clearing up and go home. My friend was embarrassed and intimidated and felt unable to finish her supper. I reported this to the nurse in charge of the ward, who, to my amazement, did not speak to the orderly, although she listened to me sympathetically, and asked me to write a letter of complaint. I did, but there was no feed-back.
Eileen Chubb is an inspiration; the Chubb Key able to unlock compassion and courage in all of us! Thanks!
Vic Taylor 21/11/12
If a person sees a crime being committed, say a shop theft. they would be under an obligation to report it & to help the police by making a statement. If a member of staff in a care home or a bank witnesses abuse or fraud they are persecuted for speaking out.
It should be a duty enforceable at law for anyone witnessing criminal acts to report them. The Savile child abuse scandal would have ended a long time ago if people had not been scared to report their suspicions.
I do not understand the reluctance of government to introduce strong laws to protect those who carry out their public duty to report criminal acts. It is clearly absurd & a personal failure of government ministers not to act on what is a major cause of concern for many people.
Graham Jordan 20/11/12
People in care are vulnerable and place complete trust in those who look after them. it is entirely right that those who observe breaches of that trust should be protected for making them public and also that there should be no cover ups of wrongdoing. I fully support Compassion in Care's Campaign.
Martin Morton 15/11/12
As a whistle-blower who was bullied and harassed out of his job for trying to protect vulnerable people I wholly support this campaign. Whistleblowing needs to be seen as part of the armoury of safeguarding. I await the day that regulators, managers and commissioners are doing their jobs properly and whistle-blowers will not be required to sacrifice everything they've ever worked for and believed in.Until then we need Edna's Law......
Sharon Ann Zaki 13/11/12
"Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance" - Robert F Kennedy. God bless all whistle-blowers and anyone who challenges corruption and wrongdoing. We are living in truly evil times and everyone needs to wake up.
NEVER give up the fight for what's right.
..best wishes, will keep an eye on the campaign. Without whistle-blowers, who knows how bad things become???
Ken Andrews 12/11/12
Whistle blowers are not just staff in nursing homes they are also relatives who like myself have whistle blown but were then subjected to illegalities and the maligning of both mine and my wife’s good characters, whilst being subjected initially to non-visitation rights and then restricted supervised visiting, with the final culmination of my mother’s murder with no consent whatsoever, whilst refusing 3 requests at different times removal of the medication that was used to deliberately murder my mother. It is highly commendable that nursing home staff whistle blow, but it should not be forgotten that relatives also make a contribution to whistle blowing, sometimes with nursing home staff being in complete denial of any wrong doing in collusion with CQC and Adult services, as in my case. Please keep up the good and very vital work to bring about change and accountability, but don't forget relatives have also been involved and abused by the powers that be because they have whistle blown.
Heard Eileen speak yesterday on BBC radio Kent and was so touched by what she said am a whistle-blower, no protection there at all, please keep fighting
Sacked Whistle-Blower 4/11/12
I have only just found this site and I cannot tell you the relief, that at last there is somewhere for caring people to share their concerns.
I have been a qualified nurse for 34 years and have recently been sacked for blowing the whistle on rough handling of a dying resident in the dementia care home that I worked in. Despite my raising concerns repeatedly about the person concerned, the management made allegations against me which were untrue, failed to follow their own disciplinary process and sacked me. I was also viewed as a troublemaker. Until the people who have the 'power' i.e. providers, management and the regulatory bodies start to listen and CARE then the appalling abuse of our elderly will continue. So many staff and especially overseas staff are terrified to speak up for fear of reprisals but this should not be.
Silent Witness 1/11/12
What is allowed to happen in our care system on a daily basis is a national disgrace. These are the most vulnerable and defenceless elderly who deserve dignity, respect and comfort in the final part of their lives, lives which have already endured and contributed so much to our society. They do not deserve to be dumped in wheelchairs in the same spot for several hours staring at a wall while begging to be assisted to go to the toilet - all to no avail, until no other option remains available but to relieve themselves where they sit, to then be admonished and humiliated for making a mess.
Having a "lie in" invariably means can't be bothered to get them up as break time is running late after an hour gossiping at morning hand over and several breaks in between. Having a "lie in" also invariably means closing the door and forgetting all about them including food and drinks for the rest of the day with the only communication to the outside of the room being the buzzer which is ignored in any event, even the emergency one.
A fall when recorded invariably means no-one was around as they are clustered elsewhere too busy gossiping to bother about a few broken joints and the time taken to heal those aging bones let alone the pain and discomfort suffered.
Dignity in Care means shouting, swearing and verbally abusing vulnerable people many of whom cannot answer back let alone defend themselves.
Dignity in Care means rough handling and do not dare complain to relatives or anyone else or else........
Dignity in Care means 'angels' have read and are aware of the abuse policies they trumpet but chose to ignore when inconvenient to their daily agendas of the care system being run and centred around their needs not the needs of those who are actually paying their wages. The few good carers are cowed into submission by the bullies too scared to stand and be counted for losing their jobs while the bullies will do anything to protect their positions as exposed they would be truly unemployable and where else would one get a job totally centred around their own needs?
Trouble makers or suspected trouble makers are demoralised, shunned and forced out for daring to even question daily practices.
CQC and PCT eventually turn up for overdue inspections and check records that have been altered, blank spaces filled in and off they go again with the illusion everything is fine and dandy while the only ones affected and the very ones we should be protecting are left to the mercy of others and a miserable existence until the next inspection time rolls round again.
It appears to me that as long as all concerned are raking in the money - very few actually give a damn about those they are damning to the most miserable existence imaginable. If they had been thugs, thieves and prisoners they would be treated with far more respect than being old and sick. It is a damming indictment of our "civilised" society that we allow our elderly to be treated in such a manner.
As a trouble maker upsetting the apple cart I will soon be leaving. I have the luxury of choice albeit with financial hardship but I feel so heart breakingly dreadfully sorry for those who do not have that choice and who will remain behind with their "dignity in care". The only glimmer on the horizon being the old adage of "what goes round comes around".
Keep up the hard work chipping away in exposing the illusory facade of our care system.
Betty Turner 1/11/12
I heard Eileen Chubb on radio four yesterday, I have read her book Beyond the Facade, and It contains all the answers if the powers that be want to stop another Jimmy Savile case happening. I have never been so affected by a book, her account of blowing the whistle opened my eyes and deeply touched me.
Radio 4 Listener 1/11/12
I heard Eileen Chubb speak yesterday, she is the voice for all whistle-blowers, keep on fighting we need a just law, if we cannot protect those who speak up in defence of the vulnerable its small wonder abusers like Jimmy Savile can go undetected for so long, it’s about time government looked at this and acted. Eileen really touched me yesterday and I am a whistle-blower but dare not give my name as need my job.
A Whistle-Blower 1/11/12
I heard Eileen Chubb speak on the radio yesterday on world at one, everything she said rang so true to me, I hope more people like her are listened to by the law makers. The law did not protect me when I blew the whistle and I hope in time the injustice of the law will change, I support Edna’s Law because I know what the current protection is worth, nothing.
Auriol Walters 30/10/12
In 2001 having blown the whistle along with Eleven others over the consistent bullying negligence and mistreatment of our vulnerable elderly relatives in a privately funded care home; ELEVEN YEARS ON we are still fighting to bring those responsible to account.
The truth is that as whistle-blowers all the dice are currently loaded against you and at the moment there is no organisation there to support you. If you try to open doors to shed light on the abuse of the vulnerable elderly, those doors are firmly slammed in your face both by the monitoring bodies ( Such as the toothless CQC) as well as by the legal profession itself, whose procrastination in collusion with the official regulatory bodies, allow cases such as ours to drag on for more than a decade. Care homes it seems can ‘Loose’ their nursing notes with impunity and well documented and vital evidence can be legally manoeuvred out of a hearing by clever lawyers and thus avoid public scrutiny.
In a civil case this evidence could be used but most ordinary citizens are prevented from following that route because of the enormity of the possible costs involved.
Our case is not an isolated one. It is part of a culture by officialdom to demonize the whistle-blower while exonerating the perpetrator. We fail to change the culture at our peril! We are numerous and we have to speak up and force change because it will be our turn next to suffer.
Where is the public investigation in the private ownerships and corporate responsibility of these care homes? How much do we know about where their profits are lodged ( Abroad? In a property?) and what percentage of profits are ploughed back into the home in the form of better staff training, better facilities and better pay for carers? At the moment there is a woeful lack of transparency over such matters. As ‘clients’ we have a right to know. We must make our voices heard. Eileen Chubb’s work is unique and immensely valuable and if Edna’s law can do even a small amount to change things we must ALL offer our support NOW.
Ten years on from our initial complaint the matron and manageress of our care home were found guilty by the NMC on five counts- although NO sanctions were imposed as a result! Now we learn that in April 2012 ( 16 months after the judgement) the defence barrister will attempt to have their judgement overturned in the High Court. Are the perpetrators once again to be exonerated? Watch this space.
Stephanie Cole 30/10/12
A vital new initiative from your wonderful organisation
A Whistle-blower 30/10/12
Reading that others have suffered the way I have for doing the right thing gives me hope that things can change. seeing Edna’s face made me cry it reminded me of the people I tried to protect, I never stood a chance with the law did not have the means to get the laws protection, I support Edna’s Law.
I also tried to report many abuse and neglect issues in a nursing home I used to work in. No one would listen. In the end I left my job there because I could not bear to watch it continue. I felt so guilty for leaving, turning my back on what was going on but no one was listening and I was being treated differently, as if they were trying to push me out. I am now an assessor for health and social care qualifications, trying to do my bit to improve care standards through giving the care assistants knowledge and guidance. I still live with the guilt of leaving and not fighting harder and I always will. I am determined to make as many people as I can aware of and support this campaign.
Kyle Stevens 29/10/12
whistle-blowers are a good thing unless if from a disgruntled ex-member of staff who was dismissed for being aggressive and looking to create a problem out of spite. In the case that I saw, even when there was clearly nothing to whistle blow about, C.Q.C forced a man of 101 years old to move from a care home he had happily lived in for 8 years with no problems into a different (corporate sized) home. He died within a month. The last thing he said to me when I told him he would have to move was: "Well I guess it's about time I have to move into an old peoples home".
Gillian Ward 26/10/12
I am one of many relatives who raised concerns of serious negligence in a Care Home. The Care Home Company and the Regulator ignored and denied our concerns. Members of the staff who supported us felt afraid to speak out for fear of losing their jobs. Had they felt unafraid, all the suffering involved would have been avoided. It took twelve years for the relatives to prove their case, and relatives and friends who act as whistle-blowers also need protection as we received various threats from the company concerned. To make vast profits from the most vulnerable in our society is totally unacceptable. Thank you Eileen Chubb for fighting so valiantly for those who have no voice.
B Smith 26/10/12
I saw many vulnerable people suffer dreadful abuse and neglect and I among other staff were forced out for raising concerns, I support this campaign with all my heart.
A Worker 26/10/12
I want to blow the whistle but have seen other people I have worked with in the past lose their jobs and have their lives ruined for speaking out against wrong, how can this be allowed to go on? good luck with Edna’s law and thank you for remembering the victims.
I was the main prosecution witness in a case that resulted in a guilty verdict of the nursing home manager of wilful neglect of a vulnerable adult. Initially I was made the scapegoat by BUPA but thankfully the family of the lady concerned and the police saw right through it, and all the evidence that I submitted pointed at where the blame lay. I featured in a documentary last night on ITV1 on the Exposure series called Who Cares? This programme highlighted the case in which I was involved. I had been complaining to senior BUPA management for two years about the inadequate staffing levels giving rise to poor standards in care. When the incident occurred that resulted in the prosecution I was conducting the workload of FOUR trained nurses. BUPA laid the blame at my feet and tried to escape their responsibility for putting my patients at risk and leaving me in such a vulnerable position. Thankfully I was only too aware of the significance of this and recorded it all in the nurses' diary! I was suspended, not paid during my suspension which resulted in my losing my home as I was unable to pay my bills at a time when I was a single mother. But this is my story and not the story of the poor vulnerable lady concerned who later died in hospital.
Katharine Abbs 25/10/12
My Mother suffers dementia, is totally bed ridden and is paralysed all down one side - this is bad enough to have to see my dearly beloved Mum in this state, but on top of that I have to endure the unnecessary upset and stress of the care home she is in. I have reported dozens and dozens of concerns and complaints over the last 18 months and currently have a safeguarding investigation going on but even that is not making a blind bit of difference, The CQC are next to useless saying that they do not deal with individual cases and that I should contact my local social services department. I have spoken to management at the care home on countless occasions but nothing gets done. I really am at my wits end as to how to get heard.... My Mother is one of the fairly luck ones (if you can call it that) as I visit the home every single day to ensure that she is warm enough, give her fluids, make sure she is not covered in excrement, has not got her legs trapped down the side of the bed mattress, that she is wearing her own clothes and not somebody else’s, that her teeth have been cleaned, nails cleaned of poo, not left in her wheel chair for hours on end, oh the list is endless...... I feel so helpless as I feel so sorry for the other residents there, when I try to help them I get told to leave them alone!!!! Watching the Exposure Programme last night has absolutely disgusted me to think that this is rife amongst a lot of care homes. I think it is pitiful that the elderly of this generation who won us the war and our country and this is how we repay them - words fail me!!!!!! :(
Patricia Fagan 24/10/12
In my long career I have witnessed both good and bad practice.
I have witnessed care staff behave in abusive ways unaware that the behaviour they are exhibiting constitutes abuse and others, who just do not see anything unacceptable about behaving in an abusive manner.
In nearly all instances where I have witnessed such behaviour there has been very poor management, the home has been more about the care and welfare of the staff than the residents or the staff have been so undervalued and overworked on minimal wages to maximise profit that the staff have been bereft of morale.
Management must be made to be more accountable for poor performance of care standards, more answerable to legislative bodies rather than the providers whose sole interest is maximising profit, and in this aim more robust support must be extended to the management to make this achievable.
The whole of the team must be educated in the understanding that a care home is about the residents and not solely about the staff.
Although I sympathise with the plight of low paid and undervalued care staff they must learn that there is no excuse for abusive or poor practice, they chose to accept the job knowing about the pay and conditions, they can walk away, this is the home of the resident and they have a contract with each resident to care for the resident.
Local Authority Safeguarding Boards and CQC must start to perform and must become answerable as in my experience they are ineffective, don't follow their own procedures and have lost the confidence of the public.
WHISTLEBLOWERS NEED PROTECTION,
WHISTLEBLOWERS NEED ACTION TO BE TAKEN WHEN THEY HAVE RAISED CONCERNS,
REMEMBER; IT IS THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO AN INDIVIDUAL BEING CLASSIFIED AS VULNERABLE THEREFORE EACH OF US WILL BE A VULNERABLE ADULT AT SOME TIME.
SHOULD THE NEED ARRISE I HOPE A WHISTLEBLOWER WILL BE THERE FOR EACH OF US.
Jean Beech 24/10/12
I removed my husband john from a dreadful care home where he was often left soaked in urine not given food and drink and given the wrong drugs the list of neglect is endless, everyone knew things were not right in that home and since then other people have suffered and staff who did care were just too frightened to speak out. It seems to me that unless we protect whistle-blowers nothing will change, too many lives have been lost because of silence, and I support this campaign and urge others to do the same.
Concerned Carer 24/10/12
I see abuse where I work, I blew the whistle where I worked before and was made to leave it was hell, I cannot lose my job again.
Barbara May 24/10/12
dearly loved mother died on 30/7/2012, I tried to speak but not many listened, sorry dear mum silence was not golden for you, no one would speak out and you suffered.
J. Chown 24/10/12
My mother recently died in a care home, she was left behind closed doors often without fluids and struggling to lift herself up to relieve the pressure on her heels. Some of the carers wanted to speak out but were too afraid to lose their jobs, if they had been able to speak out it would have saved my mother from months of needless suffering.
Margy Haywood 23/10/12
I myself blew the whistle on abuse and neglect of elderly patients in an NHS hospital in 2005 .
Subsequently losing my nurse registration , I won it back before it went to appeal.
I support Eileen Chubb with her campaign and I will do my up most to help her with Edna's Law.
Eileen is one of most honest caring and kindest people I know.
Pity there aren't a lot more people like her in this world -It would be a better place .
Katie Warren 23/10/12
When the elderly, vulnerable are in most need of help – including their loved ones trying to support them, many are being let down. My mother and our family have been let down by falling through a myriad of gaps in the system and unacceptable care. Our website (being developed now but taking your stories as we speak from the Essex area) aims to close some of those gaps. We have been and are still going through a complaint process over 3 years long regarding the unacceptable care of my elderly / vulnerable mother and the treatment of us as a family in raising genuine concerns spanning a spectrum of the care services. We thank Eileen Chubb for her support and absolutely support her campaign and Edna's Law. People need to be able to speak out and be protected. Please support us (Katie and Kevin Warren), and submit your stories past and live at, WHEREISTHECARE.CO.UK now in readiness to be published on our website anonymously. We will feedback from the voice of the local people this information to key decision-making arenas to try to get positive change to elderly/vulnerable people's care in this area. You may have lost trust in some of the authorities that anything will be done if you make your voice heard, you can trust us. Thank you.
Phil Bowden 23/10/12
The care homes should have cctv fitted in all areas. The tapes should only be accessible to an independent reviewer who should be able to visit at any time. any missing footage or blocked cameras should carry an automatic and severe penalty. The safety of the resident is more important than the loss of dignity that being on film causes. the ratio of care staff to residents should be stipulated. these things should be law. the care quality commission is not doing its job. Too many overpaid chiefs and not nearly enough Indians out there doing the legwork. inspections should be unannounced and take place over a couple of days with shifts of inspectors providing a continuous inspection. I look after my mum and the thought of her being put in a home terrifies me and it appears I’m not alone. I support and applaud your efforts and will email my M.P and ask for his support too. yours sincerely P M Bowden.
D. Jenkins 23/10/12
As a former whistle-blower having witnessed abuse of vulnerable adults at a Carmarthenshire County Council run day Centre in West Wales, I fully support this campaign. In my experience perpetrators are protected and the whistle-blowers are regarded as troublemakers and offered no protection. The whistleblowing policy as it stands is worthless as it fails to protect the victims and I suffered at the hands of management who wanted to silence me rather than deal with the abuse. Unless there are major changes in the way whistle-blowers are treated, the abuse will continue and less people will speak up when they see mistreatment of the vulnerable.
Linda Cordenley 22/10/12
Hi I am glad that you got the Ombudsman to accept your complaint and uphold it. It's hard work fighting for the sick and vulnerable and more people should listen to us as this could be their relative or even themselves one day. I am fighting to find out how my sister had a fractured skull and wishing good luck to everyone fighting their own battle.
D. Jenkins 22/10/12
As a whistle-blower having witnessed abuse of vulnerable adults within a Council run day centre I fully support this campaign. I was assaulted ( hit over the head) by the same care worker who went on to abuse a vulnerable, defenceless service user who couldn't communicate verbally. The assault on me was never investigated by my employers, the Council, even though I provided them with a statement from a colleague who witnessed the assault. Had the assault on me been dealt with appropriately and promptly, the carer would not have been in a position to assault the service user 13 months later. Yet no one has been held accountable for failing to investigate the assault on me. In my experience it seems that perpetrators are protected whilst the victims (whistle-blowers) are regarded as troublemakers and offered no protection. My complaint was completely vindicated by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales and the report was extremely critical of the Council. Yet Managers and Senior Managers are given a second chance despite the fact they are responsible for the care of the most vulnerable people in society. Far more needs to be done to protect whistle-blowers otherwise less people will speak up and abuse cases will increase as a result.
Alex Shaw 22/10/12
Programmes like Panorama have acted on information from whistle-blowers that the proper authorities ignored but this should not be the responsibility of broadcasters. Whistle-blowers should be commended not victimised.
Erin Pizzey 22/10/12
I support this campaign with all my heart. Whistle-blowers are vital to the safety of fragile and vulnerable people and they should and must be protected with the full force of the law to stop the evil doers trying to silence them. Please offer all your support that you can and that of your friends.
Jenny Moore 22/10/12
Health Professionals, Senior Managers in Adult Care and NHS Services are all people who have the power to help bring about change, but choose to remain quiet, for fear of the repercussions. People like us have the voice but no one will listen and take notice, we continue banging our head against a brick wall that seems to be getting taller and thicker every day. Fear governs the care sector. I am an example of what happens when you challenge bad care, I was banned from visiting my mother-in-law for a minimum of 12 months from care provider Cornwall Care Ltd, that was in July 2010 and the matter is still not resolved and care issues continue. The truth just has to win and I will continue on with my fight. My own campaign Your Voice Matters is running a petition for CCTV in all care homes. The only way to prove abuse and neglect is visual evidence and this is proven time and time again by media sources. Controlled CCTV footage would help back up allegations made and be a support for care workers and families when making complaints. Please, please visit our web page and sign our petition. Remember, one day the victim could be YOU or someone you
Eileen Chubb 22/10/12
Patrick Chubb, died in Hospital on 22nd December 2005, his family fought for over three years until his case was finally upheld by the Ombudsman.
Had someone at the Hospital been able to blow the whistle his family could have been given the only justice they sought, the truth.
P. Fagan 12/9/12
It would appear that incompetence, collusion and silence are the watchwords of the legislative bodies. Cynthia Bower, David Behan and Jo Williams, what next, Des Kelly to replace Jo Williamson?
The recruitment procedure to fill these posts of chief executive and director should be more transparent and personal integrity should be one of the main qualities that qualifies the individual to be considered for the appointments. Track record of questionable ability and integrity seems to be enough to secure an appointment .
What next, Des Kelly for Jo Williams’s vacant post?
Mark Marsh 19/1/11
I recall not too long ago a couple of social workers turning up at the home I worked at as a deputy manager pushing the 'Dignity in Care' training. As I said to them it was hardly dignified to have residents in beds that were too low that we could not care for them properly if they were ill, it wasn't dignified to feed residents on £1.50 per head whilst we constantly argued with the registered providers of the home (who was only concerned with their profit margin) to provide good quality nutritional foods, it certainly wasn't dignified to be battling with GP's surgeries to obtain something as simple as a urine sample from residents who had possible urine infections only to be told that we can only obtain a sample if the GP requests it (I got samples anyway and hounded the GP!) I have trained staff on abuse awareness and the majority of staff I have worked with are good at their jobs and very compassionate caring people.
My biggest objection was the fact that care providers are in it for the money, none of the profit is channelled back into the homes, and to me that is abuse on a grand scale. The same social workers also went on about why we had not got an activities organiser, I just said go and ask the registered providers, they won't pay for one neither would they pay for a maintenance person; I also said the same things to a CQC Inspector when she went on about the same things. Did she bring them to book? not on your life! It was my manager and my fault that we had not provided these things! These people who are meant to protect end up perpetrating poor care due to their failure to bring registered providers into line, and when it goes wrong the finger is pointed at overworked poorly paid staff. I don't think I would ever work in nursing or in a care home ever again.
Derek Haughton 13/1/11
Many thanks for the good work you do, I read about Compassion In Care in Private Eye. The more exposure of the filthy, inhuman practices of the worst homes and the disgracefully relaxed attitude taken by CQC the better.
Unfortunately, all long-term care attracts the sadists among us and low wages the lazy and ignorant. Inspectors of all kinds, in all situations, are open to seduction by personal charm, a nice cup of tea and a cream cake.
"Would anyone put their relative in a home where there were concerns about poor care going back years, where it was so bad Social services raided the home and tried to remove people? The answer is no. Please see this week’s BBC Radio 4, file on four, which has covered this charities work in exposing abuse where it matters, on the front line."
How much is it true?
Steve Shires 9/12/10
Thanks for your fantastic work in this area Eileen. I'd thought you were too busy chasing up the failings in star-rated homes to tackle the CQC in the media but you did it. I'm particularly concerned that, just by giving the home my sister is stuck in a 3-star rating, the commission was able to avoid inspecting it between May 2008 and April 2011. Meanwhile it would appear that the unregistered home in the same street (Under down Lane, Herne Bay) did not need to be registered before October '10!
too many bad care homes covered over. Too many errors within the NHS covered over.
PLEASE ? get rid of these quango's that only have contempt for people’s lives.
I only hope that if not? the people responsible, be it CQC or another will be treated just as badly
as some of the public have been, and their cries for help unheard also.
Care in the uk 24/11/10
Thank you for making a difference.
Unless and until we all speak out about every single thing we know - from our own experience - about the way in which the CQC and its predecessor CSCI have failed to care sufficiently, we will never be able to rely on that word called 'care'.
So many people have been hoodwinked by the words Care Quality Commission and Commission for Social Care inspection. The words alone are fine, which is why we have placed our trust in them. But sadly, so many of those words are 'empty' and 'hollow'. They have not shown that they care sufficiently about the quality of care being provided.
Marie Alderson 23/11/10
I have just listened to file on four and was horrified at what I had heard with regard to CQC .
and how it fails to monitor what goes on in our care homes.
The person representing CQC was nothing more than an automaton. she sounded to me as if she was reading from a text book
with no feeling what so ever I was appalled.
I have been involved with the elderly since I was 17 years old in Ireland where I was in a convent that looked after the elderly I knew instinctively
you needed to feel COMPASSION above all else. it’s not something that can be taught. there is no way anyone with compassion could be so dismissive of a person’s suffering. especially an elderly person who is so vulnerable and dependent.
Mark Reid 23/11/10
Hi, just heard the Radio 4 file on 4 programme and was shocked and worried about what they had to say. Then I read the story about house 68 and the fact that someone who was found to be negligent is still allowed to work in the care area! Thanks for doing the work you do and I hope you can continue, Mark.
P. Doolan 8/11/10
It just goes on and on !!! Policing of Homes is pathetic and Social Workers equally to blame for making excuses and appeasement. I think Churchill said appeasement is the same as feeding a bloodthirsty animal ! How right he was. Paul K Doolan
Dee Sedgewick 7/10/11
Cynthia Bower too was rewarded for apparent unspeakable failure when she was CEO, West Midlands Strategic Health Authority, when it is quoted than no fewer than 1200 patients died, unnecessarily, " IN APPALLING CARE".
It was Bower's responsibility to check standards. She failed on a level which defies words. .... and then she became CEO of CQC !
Now 5, elderly residents have suffered terrible neglect and abuse at Parkside House Home as Eileen Chubb writes. They died. Terrible, indescribable deaths.
Deaths that, if any one of these wretched residents happened to be your own mum or dad, you would never again know peace.
Amanda Sherlock, a director of CQC says ...wait for it.....
"it is not acceptable...in any care setting..... residents should suffer APPALLING CARE."
See it's those same words. Spoken by her boss when she, Cynthia Bower, deliberately ignored and disregarded the suffering of 1200 human beings
and now spewed out by Sherlock to try and keep the depravity and corruption from the public's eye.
(Obviously, as Eileen writes, Jo Williams is only now Chair - because the Chair from last year, Barbara Young, resigned shortly after taking up her position with the CQC - when it became known her gross failures at Basildon Hospital, Essex.)
Returning to Bower, the author of an independent report into the massacre, said "the owner had taken her eye off the ball".
She may as well have also used the bat to club the residents with - bringing a swift and less painful death.
The coroner concluded that ALL FIVE residents died OF NATURAL CAUSES - but ...."considered to be consistent with the effects of severe neglect".
No. These five residents were killed at the hands of workers in the home.
If someone is smothered by a pillow, they stop breathing "consistent with the effects of suffocation". Is that too "Natural Causes" ?
Caraline Kaye 8/8/10
Thank you for all the work you do to run this website. I found the site address in the last issue of Private Eye and your reviews do nothing to ease my mind about the state of care homes in the UK - something which is becoming a matter of personal concern as my parents start to need more care. Thank you again for setting up the website.
Colin Hadden 6/7/10
Well-articulated, I spent 6 years as deputy manager at a home local to me in Gloucestershire for adults with learning difficulties advocating on the residents behalf for better conditions, more community presence and consistency of staff, only to bullied out of my job last Christmas. 5 managers with their own personal agendas in 6 years. A climate of sycophancy, nepotism and 'cronyism' by inexperienced 'bosses' more interested preserving their own well-paid jobs with little appetite to form effective relationships with residents. Parasites on the hard working staff, 50- 60 hours a week, managing challenging behaviour with inadequate supervision and direction.
This wonderful organisation is called 'Voyage Care' based in Lichfield Staffordshire. As the Consultant Psychiatrist said in a care review- ' a voyage to nowhere'. As for our 'inspection'- totally pre-empted by the tick box and cut and paste AQAA system before, the inspection takes place in the 'bunker' of the office with the latest manager and a quick look around the home after. I am now a NVQ assessor- and I still see a lot of bad practice. But how can you adequately complain when, at least in this area, to get hold of the CQC one has to telephone Newcastle, who then fax the local inspector down here who may or may not get back in touch? Totally inadequate. Safeguarding the big Companies and no one else.
Good luck with the Charity. Colin Hadden, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire
D. Sedgwwick 1/6/10
A well-known charity for the elderly has just had its funding, by the Government, stopped. I believe it amounted to around £120,000 p/a. A lot of money.
The same charity takes large donations from Southern Cross Homes - thereby causing a huge conflict of interest.
The CEO has now made some nasty, acerbic comments about the government's withdrawal of monies.
I know that Compassion in Care accepts NOTHING from Care Home Companies and the like - leaving it untainted and free to tell the public exactly what is happening in the terribly sad world of elderly abuse and neglect.
Having read the above from Eileen Chubb, we can see that the slaughter is still going on.
If it was happening to children, seals, donkeys etc. there would (rightly) be an uprising.
Have I missed something in my life - either in writing, or verbal - which states that mistreatment of, and cruelty to elderly people is acceptable?
Dee Sedgwick Mrs