Care worker admits cruelty

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A WIGAN nursing home assistant has admitted ill-treating six elderly residents.

Lynne Parkinson, of Belle Green Lane, Ince, had been due to face trial on 11 charges involving two men and four women residents at Shawcross Residential Home, in Bolton Road, Ashton.

But after the judge was asked to indicate what the 56-year-old’s sentence might be if she pleaded guilty to some of the charges, she changed her plea to guilty to six of them.

It is understood Parkinson has since been sacked from her job, and bosses of the home issued a statement today saying they felt “badly let down”.

Parkinson was arrested after work colleagues, aware of a whistle-blower policy the home runs, reported concerns about her neglectful conduct to management, who in turn informed family and police.

At the hearing, Judge Nigel Gilmour indicated to her barrister, Tom Watson, that the offences passed the custody threshold, but such a sentence could be suspended.

Parkinson pleaded guilty to six offences of ill-treatment of a person who lacked capacity, between September 1, 2009 and June 2 last year.

The victims were aged between 80 and 95. Three of them have since died from unrelated causes. Parkinson was further remanded on bail by Liverpool Crown Court, to await sentence on June 24.

A statement issued last night by the Shawcross Residential Home said: “The home manager and staff and our regional leadership team have been distressed by this case, and feel badly let down that a colleague could be neglectful of the needs of people entrusted into their care.

“We are grateful to the caring staff who raised their concerns with the manager, as all staff are encouraged to do.

“The manager promptly suspended Lynne Parkinson, pending inquiries, and notified the residents’ families, the local authority safeguarding team and the police.

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“The safety, wellbeing and comfort of residents is our first priority, and it is our policy that any suggestion of inappropriate behaviour or failure in our duty of care is notified to the authorities so that it can be investigated.

“The home co-operated fully with the police investigation, and conducted its own internal review. Lynne Parkinson is no longer working for us.

“The only small comfort we can take from this regrettable case is that it demonstrates that our whistle-blowing policy works, with care staff willing to report any concerns they may have and managers prepared promptly to take appropriate action.