A day in the life of England’s bad nursing homes

A day in the life of England’s bad care homes

You may not want to think about it – but it could be where you, or members of your family, spend your twilight years. Want to know what it could be like?

The Telegraph is tracking how a day in the life of some of England’s bad care homes could compare to your day. Follow it below in real-time, with updates throughout the day.

8am: Time to get up or eat breakfast? Perhaps not. Relatives at one care home said they often found their loved ones still stuck in bed by late morning. Staff in Summer Lane Nursing Home in Weston Super Mare admitted to inspectors that sometimes they were still helping people get ready for the day at 4.30pm because they were so short-staffed, despite trying their best to reach everyone.

The home’s operator Country Court Care said there were some managerial issues with the home at the time of the inspection, which had since been resolved, with new, additional members of staff also recruited and an urgent plan put in place to deal with the issues raised.

8.30am: What about a shower? “I get a shower when they have time,” said one resident at High Peak Lodge care home in Lancashire, and at other locations records suggested residents had not showered for months.

Health professionals at St Nicholas Nursing Home in Sheridan, Norfolk, found residents with faecal matter under their nails – staff said they had to use ripped up pieces of towel to wash people because they had run out of flannels. One staff member said to inspectors: “Would you want you relative cared for like this? It’s not very dignified is it?”

Since the inspection, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) took urgent action to stop St Nicholas from providing nursing care and limited its resident numbers to 11 people. The operators of St Nicholas said in repeat visits by the watchdog, the home had shown improvements. “All families are happy for their loved ones to remain at St Nicholas,” a spokeswoman said. High Peak Lodge said it “welcomed” the feedback and stressed that it had adequate numbers of staff on duty, with the CQC commending it for providing “effective and caring support”.

At China Cottage Nursing Home in Doncaster, an agency nurse gave medication to the wrong person.

10am: Fancy a cup of tea? Great. The staff have brought you one, and at most care homes you either drink it alone or they help you drink it, and that’s where it ends.

But at Albany Care Home in Oxford, in inspectors found one resident in bed with half of a cold cup of tea, a stale piece of toast and two biscuits on the other side of the room, out of their reach. “A cup of tea would be nice,” they said.

A spokeswoman for Four Seasons Health Care, which runs the home, said: “We are sorry that Albany care home fell short of the standards we expect all of our homes to provide. We have accepted the CQC’s recommendations and have implemented a comprehensive plan of action…The resident who was still in bed at midday was there entirely out of her own choice and had made clear to staff that she did not want to get up. Tea and other fluids are served regularly.”

11am: You walk past the lounge and the offensive smell stops you in your tracks.

At St Nicholas Care Home, where the CQC has already taken urgent action (see above), one resident told inspectors the smell in the lounge, particularly on hot days, was “overpowering…but I’m afraid I’m getting used to it.”

12pm: Lunch time! Oh, sorry. Not for you – or at least that’s the case at a handful of care homes. You’re pretty hungry and no-one is coming to help – you’ve been waiting for nearly an hour – so you try with your hands. It’s gross, undignified and you can’t even get much. Inspectors saw this happen at several care homes last year, including one incident at Perry Locks Nursing Home in Birmingham.

A spokesman for Perry Locks said: “We are sorry this happened and now have a new home manager and deputy manager, and the issues have been addressed. We reassessed resident’s needs on the unit concerned and, as a result, increased staffing levels, especially to support people at mealtimes.”

1.30pm: Have a look out of the window. Imagine not being able to go out there…

At lots of care homes, staff are happy to take residents outside where they can. But at The Old Rectory in Colchester, a resident told inspectors last year: “We have been stuck in here all summer and can’t get out into the garden; the door is locked because of the dangerous tree branches. I have always loved being outdoors. Summer has passed us by.” At the time of inspection, there was no timetable for finishing the work to make the garden safe.

Paul Mancey, chief executive of Orchard Care Homes, which runs The Old Rectory, said he would personally visit the home to ensure the garden was accessible.

“It is incredibly important to be able to go out into the garden, and it’s really important to me personally that people have the opportunity to go outside. I am going to go and make certain that people do have access to the garden,” he told The Telegraph. A spokeswoman said the care home staff were still awaiting guidance from the council on the tree in the back garden, but pointed out that the front garden was accessible.

2.30pm: You need help getting to the toilet so you’ve rung your call bell. But no-one’s come. How long do you think it could take?

2.45pm: You’re still waiting and it’s 15 minutes later. Incidentally, 15 minutes is the length of time some care workers have to spend with people who need care in their own homes. That means sometimes people have to choose between having a drink, getting clean, or going to the toilet.

2.50pm Back in the care home, it’s been more than 20 minutes. At Sunrise Operations Tettenhall, in Wolverhampton, 14 people raised concerns over the length of time it took for call bells to be responded to. A member of staff said they were also worried about this, and were “shattered” trying to cope with their workloads. One person said they were so desperate to use the toilet that they tried to go by themselves, falling over twice in their bathroom in the last two months.

According to the care watchdog,1 in 5 care homes do not have enough staff to make sure residents get good, safe care.

A spokesman said: “The most important thing to us is the health and wellbeing of the residents we care for. We strive to provide the highest standards of care and take this matter extremely seriously. Following the inspection, we immediately implemented a comprehensive action plan, including a review of staffing levels. We look forward to demonstrating these improvements to the inspectorate. We work tirelessly to deliver the highest quality care.”

3.30pm What are you up to? In many care homes, there are plenty of activities for you to try, from trips out to games like dominoes. But at other care homes there were reports that people had nothing to do – with reports from Ottley House in Shrewsbury of most people just sitting in their armchairs all day with their eyes closed.

Inspectors said: “We saw one person kicking the door to try and get out. We saw people walking round and round the unit and no one spoke with them.”

A spokeswoman said the home had taken “immediate action” including training for staff, appointing a new general and deputy manager, and upgrading the facilities: “We would like to reassure everyone of our commitment to provide the highest quality of care to those residing at Ottley House and to emphasise that their health and wellbeing is at the forefront of everything we do and are doing.”

6.40pm: Tired? Inspectors arrived unannounced at Corinthian House care home, in Leeds, at this time. They found 39 of 52 people in bed. Two people’s doors were shut even though they were awake and making continuous noise. At another home, one member of staff told someone who did not want to go to bed: “If you don’t go to bed now, I won’t be back, I don’t have time for this.”

9pm: Thirteen hours – the entire time this experiment has been running – is how long some patients at a care home, which has now closed, were left entirely unattended.

This is not the case at every care home – many are run well and compassionately. But 33 per cent rated under new inspection criteria were rated inadequate or in need of improvements and 1 in 5 do not have enough staff to look after people safely.

Do you want to put up with that for your family or yourself? If not, pledge your support for our campaign, or email us your stories, here.

This “day in the life” story is part of the Telegraph’s Justice for the Elderly campaign, which wants to see radical changes in the training and licensing of care workers and an improvement to elderly care across the country. While we know there are lots of professional and compassionate care workers, still 1 in 3 care homes rated since October by the Care Quality Commission were either “inadequate” or “requires improvement” and the watchdog says 1 in 5 do not have enough staff to provide good, safe, care.

The stories on this page are all based on inspection reports from the Care Quality Commission published between October 2014, when a new system came in, and January 2015.

The Telegraph has contacted all of the operators of the different homes to find out what has improved since the inspections, and their comments have been included.

Want to tell us your experiences or support our campaign? Click here.


Prominent landscape painter David Reid has just entered
the Twilight Zone.

After his mother is sent to a nursing home for rehabilitation, David soon learns the truth about Haven. Once a magnificent seaside hotel on the coast of Maine, the property is now managed by a greedy corporation and a nursing staff who neglect and abuse the residents.

Dealing with the inept staff is an endless battle. And to make matters worse, David’s mother claims ghosts are haunting the facility.

Are the spirits hallucinations caused by her medications?

Or is Haven really haunted?


CLICK here to read the FIRST CHAPTER of



February 22nd, 2017
10:54 AM ET

Sick, dying and raped in America’s nursing homes – a CNN Investigation

They go to nursing homes to be cared for. Instead, the unthinkable is happening at facilities across the country: Vulnerable seniors are being raped and sexually abused by the very people paid to care for them.

Senior Writers Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken provide a shocking and detailed account of the rape and sexual abuse occurring in nursing homes across the country — and the systemic failures of nursing homes and state regulators to stop it.

The graphic reports of abuse they uncovered are horrifying.  

  • 83-year-old Sonja Fischer fled war-time Indonesia as a young girl only to be raped by a nursing assistant during the “final, most vulnerable days of her life.”
  • An 88-year-old California woman only had sex with one man her entire life – her husband of nearly 70 years —  then contracted a sexually transmitted disease from her alleged rapist.
  • One elderly man with paralysis was sexually abused and forced to eat feces out of his adult diapers by a group of nursing aides.

As part of the five-month investigation, CNN Correspondent Ana Cabrera confronted multiple nursing homes where caregivers were accused of sexually assaulting multiple residents before eventually being convicted of rape.

Ellis and Hicken also read through thousands of government documents to conduct a detailed analysis of federal data – the first of its kind.

Some of the findings: CNN found that more than 1,000 nursing homes have been cited for mishandling or failing to investigate or prevent alleged cases of rape, sexual assault and abuse at their facilities between 2013 and 2016. Nearly 100 of these facilities have been cited multiple times during the same period. At least a quarter were allegedly perpetrated by aides, nurses and other staff members. 

The reporters also traveled to the small town of Waynesville, North Carolina, to tell the story of one certified nursing assistant who worked at multiple facilities in the area and now stands accused of rape. This deeply reported account comes from police reports, court documents, interviews with the alleged victims and even the accused rapist, who denied  the charges from jail.

Read the full investigation here.

Courtsey of CNN.


Families turn to nursing homes to give the elderly the care and attention they need, but a congressional report out Monday says 1,600 U.S. nursing homes — nearly one-third — have been cited for abuse, reports CBS News Correspondent Bill Whitaker. Some 5,283 nursing homes were cited for abuse violations, according to a review of state inspection records requested by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif. These homes were cited for nearly 9,000 abuse violations from January 1999 to January 2001.

“We found examples of residents being punched, choked or kicked by staff members or other residents,” Waxman said.

It’s a shocking reality for thousands of older Americans, a trend CBS News first reported last year with the story of Helen Love. She was attacked by a certified nurse’s assistant at a Sacramento facility, who was angered she’d soiled herself.

“He choked me and went and broke my neck and broke my wrist,” said Love.
Helen Love died two days after her interview. Her assailant got a year in county jail and a CBS News investigation found that three other employees at the same Sacramento facility had been convicted for abuse, which should have barred them from nursing home work.

The nursing home industry agrees on the need for stiffer background checks, but disagrees abuse is widespread.

“The congressman himself said the great majority of long-term care in our nation is excellent. There are people every day that are working very hard to provide that care,” said Charles H. Roadman II, president of the American Health Care Association (AHCA), a nursing home trade group that represents 12,000 nonprofit and for-profit centers and homes for the elderly and disabled.

Waxman, the top Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee, which oversees spending and other operations, said Congress should RAid an abolished federal law that boosts nursing home spending. The Boren amendment would guarantee that the nation’s nearly 17,000 homes do a better job of screening, training and counseling their staff. Roughly 1.5 million seniors live in nursing homes.
Waxman is also introducing a plan that would require criminal background checks on nursing home staff and impose tougher standards on homes with violations.

The AHCA supports a federal criminal background check system for potential employees.

“Recruiting, training and keeping frontline nursing staff are among the most important things we can do to ensure our patients continue to receive quality skilled nursing care,” said Roadman.

But center operators said abuse is not the norm in nursing homes and many staff members deserve praise.

“Our patients are like family, and incidents like those described here today are extremely rare,” said Sharon Sellers, vice president of operations at Washington Home, a nearly 200-bed center in the District of Columbia.

Bruce Rosenthal, spokesman for the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, said Congress should focus on the troubled centers, rather than create cumbersome standards for all.

“We strongly believe nursing homes that exhibit consistently poor performance should either clean up their act or be put out of business,” said Rosenthal, whose group represents 5,600 not-for-profit homes and centers.

A congressional report has found that 5,283 — over 30 percent — of the nursing homes in the U.S. were cited for an abuse violation that had to cause harm between January 1999 and January 2001. Over 2,500 of the violations were serious enough to cause actual harm or to place residents in immediate jeopardy of death or serious injury.

The reported abuses were physical, sexual and verbal. All abuse is on the rise, the report said. More than twice as many nursing homes were cited for abuse in 2000 than in 1996. In 1996, 5.9 percent of all nursing homes were cited for an abuse violation during their annual inspections; in 2000, 16 percent of nursing homes were cited.
“It would have been intolerable if we had found a hundred cases of abuse; it is unconscionable that we have foud thousands upon thousands,” Waxman said.
The report found that in 1,601 nursing homes – about 1 in 10 – abuse citations were made in serious incidents that either put residents at great risk of harm, injured them or killed them.

For instance, a resident was killed when another resident with a history of abusive behavior picked her up and slammed her into a wall. In another case, a resident’s nose was broken by an attendant who hit her. An attendant raped another resident in her room.

It was not clear how many people were abused. In some cases, the report said, an abuse citation referred to a single victim; in others a single case affected several residents.

Investigators said many violations are neither detected nor reported, leading officials to believe the problem is underestimated.

The report also found more than 40 percent, or 3,800 abuse violations, were only reported after formal complaints from residents, their families or community advocates.
1,327 homes were cited for more than one abuse violation in the two-year period; 305 homes were cited for three or more abuse violations, and 192 nursing homes were cited for five or more abuse violations.

©MMI CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report

© 2001 CBS. All rights reserved.


The neglected ones

Prominent landscape painter David Reid has just entered
the Twilight Zone.

After his mother is sent to a nursing home for rehabilitation, David soon learns the truth about Haven. Once a magnificent seaside hotel on the coast of Maine, the property is now managed by a greedy corporation and a nursing staff who neglect and abuse the residents. Dealing with the inept staff is an endless battle. And to make matters worse, David’s mother claims ghosts are haunting the facility.

Are the spirits hallucinations caused by her medications?

Or is Haven really haunted?


CLICK here to read the FIRST CHAPTER of

Real Ghost Encounters at Bakersfield’s Haunted Places

Moving objects, shadows, spirit possession, and unexplained screams may seem the screenplay of any horror movie. But these creepy things have actually happened at several places in Bakersfield. From school to the hospital, there are many buildings in the city which are believed to be haunted. According to the locals, these are housed by the spirits of those who were either killed or committed suicide there. Here, we’ve compiled ghostly places in Bakersfield with real stories raising your goose bumps.

Central Park Canal, Mill Creek:

Bakersfield’s Central Park at Mill Creek is one of the haunted sites in Bakersfield.

“I saw a woman in the white robe just before dawn. She was weeping and then quickly disappeared when I approached her,” said Mr. Philip, a local shop owner in his sixties. Like Mr. Philip, you come across many residents who have a similar story to tell. Locals say that the lady in a white robe was murdered near the park and her body was hidden beneath the floorboards at the foundry. Her remains were discovered by the workers after few days when they dug into the floor. What was her name, why she was killed or who was her murderer is still a mystery till date. “Her spirit was wandering,” sighed Philip.

Haberfelde Building:

Haberelde Building is 5 stories low rise building at Chester Avenue and attracts attention with its beautiful art deco architectural style. But the building is plagued by paranormal activities as stated by the locals. Many people have claimed that they have heard woman’s scream coming out from the building. While those living inside the building have sighted unexplained switching off lights and experienced presence of somebody when they are alone. Many of them have spotted an old man strolling in storage areas and the basement.

However, Mr. John Sarad, the building’s owner flatly declines all these claims.

Bakersfield High School:

Bakersfield High School dates back to 1890s and is counted among most reputed schools in Bakersfield. Besides being a big stars’ alma mater, the school is known as one of the haunted locations in Bakersfield. From spotting a disappearing man to slamming of theater’s door on its own, there are many spookier tales built around the school. Many people including teachers and students have confirmed the strange and weird sounds and sightings over the years.

A staff member’s experience goes like that–“That foggy night I was driving back to the campus for some reasons. Most of the staff was either back to home or had rest at their apartments. Yeah, you can say I was lonely over there. I spotted a girl in a prom dress and a boy wearing a football letter sweater at the top row of bleachers. I rushed there but nobody was to be seen. I was so scared and ran back.” The school auditorium, Harvey Auditorium is said to be haunted by the ghost of a workman who was killed during the construction.

The former receptionist at BHS said that she used to hear file cabinet opening and closing when no one was in the room. It is said that the school has built on the location of Kern General Hospital, which buried its dead bodies at where the school’s Quad is today.

The Padre Hotel:

The Padre Hotel has its own share of the city’s spookier tales. Built in 1928, the hotel is said to be haunted by the giggling young girl; people who jumped off its roof and victim who were killed in fire outbreak on the 7th floor.

Jessica Neeley, a hotel sales manager, says,” Several of the housekeepers have said when they are up here vacuuming the floors or working, they’ll feel a presence and they’ll look and they’ve seen a little girl in 1920’s or 30’s clothing with a hat and gloves resting on the banister and watching them.,”

“When I tried to catch her and she ran and turned into a fog like appearance”, said one of the hotel employees. The girl leaves her handprint on a wooden panel which pops up every time in spite of painting and sanding.

So, these are the haunted places in Bakersfield with some real spookier experiences. But there may be many more haunted places in the city which are still unknown including the one where you’re right now, sitting back and reading this article.

Courtesy of