A SHOCKING undercover investigation into Winsley's Avonpark Village retirement home that charges £4,000 a month has found staff to be verbally abusing, mocking and neglecting elderly patients. 

For three weeks, a Mail on Sunday (MoS) reporter, who had no prior experience of professional care, worked undercover serving residents aged 68-100 of Fountain Place - encompassing a 15-bed nursing unit with 80 per cent occupancy, and part of Avonpark Village.

Incidents of 'appaling' care included hoisting an 89-year-old dementia sufferer up from his chair to change his top by his armpits, mocking a 96-year-old with hip trouble for questioning her rough practice and unexplained bruising on two dementia suffering patients. 

The MoS reporter also discovered that a member of staff who had worked at the home for three years revealed that one carer who worked in a separate dementia unit at Avonpark, Hillcrest House, had recently been dismissed after an incident in which a cup of hot tea was spilled over a resident’s head.

The sacked woman was arrested over the incident, which she denies.

Other points of criticism include the care home being very shortstaffed, with just a single carer and nurse on duty on one day from 8pm-8am.

At least five of those in the unit had dementia, others were bedbound and three were on liquid diets and had to be fed. The majority required help with intimate tasks such as washing and going to the toilet.

A spokesman for Retirement Villages said: “We are appalled by the allegations that have been made about the behaviour of individuals within Fountain Place nursing home, and we will not rest until we have established the full facts and taken appropriate action.

“A comprehensive investigation has been launched, led by our Senior Management Team, and we are working openly and transparently with all appropriate authorities.  We have immediately suspended four members of staff, changed our agency provider, and will be reviewing our staff training and induction processes. 

“Nothing is more important to us than the health, wellbeing and safety of the residents we support, and we will take all appropriate steps if this has been compromised at any time.”

More to follow.