The news broke today that two care workers from a nursing home in Middleton, Greater Manchester have been jailed after they admitted appearing to torture therapeutic dolls designed to provide comfort to dementia patients in their care.

Shauna Higgin, 20, and Victoria Johnson, 23, shared video clips and photos of what they did, as well as taunting the elderly patients who care for the dolls like their own babies.

Police launched an investigation after images of a baby doll being boiled in a cooking pot, another being hanged by its neck out of a window and one being put in a tumble drier emerged earlier this year. 

Both defendants admitted two counts of wilful neglect or ill treatment of elderly residents while working as care workers at Ashbourne House last year. Higgin, of Elliot Walk, Middleton, was ordered to serve 13 months in youth detention and Johnson, of Cowlishaw Lane, Oldham, jailed for 12 months.  

Chris Knight, Head of Social Care training for Securicare said, “This case highlights one of the prevailing risks within social care, namely recruitment. It follows on from Winterbourne View where individuals who don't possess the requisite empathy and sensitivity get jobs in the sector. I would urge employers to be more critical when employing new staff. You owe it to your service users and patients. What’s more it makes good business sense. If you are delivering high quality care more placements will follow on..”

“If you have staff with the right temperament and attitude towards the job then any training you provide will pay dividends too. Whether it’s induction care courses,  preventing and managing Challenging behaviour training courses, ‘Breakaway Training courses’ or Physical intervention training courses. The knowledge and skills provided will be embraced and applied with care.. Something that is sadly lacking in this tragic case…”

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For the full article go to The Mail