Operation Jasmine, led by Gwent Police, examined the practices of six care homes where more than 103 residents were alleged to have been victims of abuse and neglect.

The investigation, concerning as many as 63 suspicious deaths, is estimated to have cost £15m since it began in November 2005 – making it the UK’s most expensive inquiry of its kind.

The probe led to charges against Dr Prana Das, a GP in Bargoed and director of Puretruce Health Care Ltd who at one time owned 25 homes across South Wales.

A 326-page report, commissioned by the Welsh Government, states: “The care of frail older people was being severely compromised 10 years before Gwent Police’s Operation Jasmine began.”

It added that the NHS “took no credible action” and said there was an “indisputable build-up of problems” which remained unresolved in 2005.

The report describes the anguish of families who believe their frail relatives suffered “an abandonment of common humanity” due to a lack of water, nutrition physical comfort, personal hygiene and unexplained injuries.

Families also claim the alleged abuse was caused as a result of the “unchecked greed” of businesses who were simply out to make a profit.

The report author Dr Flynn stated: “Those responsible for the homes in question appeared impervious to the needs of older people and the growing concerns of their families.

“The staff had neither the skills nor the knowledge to care competently for frail older people.”

Director of SecuriCare Phil Hardy says, “Cases like this are a national tragedy. But the good news is that there are high quality, well lead care providers who place the right emphasis on continuing training and development. SecuriCare’s job is to help them to meet their learning needs..”

SecuriCare offer a range of professional development opportunities for support workers and carers. These include the new ‘Care Certificate’ as well as a host of programmes centred on preventing and managing challenging behaviour as well as reducing the need for restrictive practices.