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Nine Whorlton Hall care workers accused of verbal abuse and neglect

Nine care home workers are facing trial for neglecting, verbally abusing and deliberately antagonising extremely vulnerable patients in care described as “devoid of kindness and respect” but also criminal.

The six men and three women, aged 25-54, are being prosecuted after a reporter went undercover and filmed the behaviour for a BBC Panorama documentary.

Opening the case at Teesside crown court in Middlesbrough, the prosecuting barrister, Anne Richardson, said the patients all resided at Whorlton Hall, a 17-bed independent specialist hospital unit near Barnard Castle, County Durham, operated by Cygnet Health Care.

Richardson said caring for such residents was a “hard, demanding job, and that carers can face complex, difficult, obstreperous, and sometimes violent people who sadly do not realise what they are doing and cannot help their actions.” But they deserved to be treated with “kindness, respect and patience.”

Richardson said the jury would hear evidence of ill-treatment which was “cruel and abusive”. It was “not only devoid of the respect and kindness that those residents deserved but was also a criminal offence”.

It included care workers repeatedly saying words they knew to be triggers to patients, belittling those in their care and deliberately antagonising them.

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Source: The Independent, 8 March 2023



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