Care home neglect witness plea in Operation Jasmine review

Families say the inquiry needs more evidence to have any impact

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Families who believe loved ones were neglected while living in care homes in south Wales have been urged to give evidence to an independent review.

It comes after the UK's biggest inquiry into alleged neglect - Operation Jasmine - collapsed at a cost £11.6m.

It followed the shelving of a trial against care home owner Dr Prana Das, who faced neglect and fraud charges, after he suffered brain injury damage.

A review was then set up following calls from victims' families.

It was commissioned by the Welsh government to look into what lessons could be learned.

Families who believed their relatives were neglected formed a campaign group called Justice for Jasmine and they are now calling on more people to give evidence to the review.

Dr Prana Das Dr Das' care home neglect trial collapsed after he was brain damaged

Loraine Brannan, of New Tredegar, Caerphilly county, who chairs the campaign group, said her mother Megan Downs developed serious pressure sores while in one care home investigated.

"One person was so badly affected that the bottom of her back was eaten away by the pressure sores and you could see her internal organs," she said.

"You have to ask yourself how could that have happened to so many people over such a long period of time and to so many people."

Another campaigner, Gail Morris, believes her aunt was neglected while living at one of the care homes investigated. She said more people should come forward.

"There's no way nobody couldn't have noticed it, not when you see how bad the situation was," she said.

"People have to come forward and say something because this could be our future if we don't stop it.

"I don't want my children to go through what we've had to go through."

The review is due to conclude at the end of 2014.

A Welsh government spokesman said: "There has been extensive engagement with a wide range of interested parties in the course of the review to date and further input from families, employees involved in the relevant care homes, or anyone else continues to be welcomed."

Older People's Commissioner for Wales Sarah Rochira said: "I... fully support the families' call for anyone who may have information concerning this alleged neglect and abuse to come forward and give evidence to the review."

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Operation Jasmine

  • Home Office review launched in 2005 into alleged neglect at care homes in south Wales following the death of 84-year-old Gladys Thomas
  • Mrs Thomas had been a patient at Bryngwyn Mountleigh nursing home in Newbridge and was admitted to Newport's Royal Gwent Hospital after being given incorrect doses of medication. She later died.
  • A nurse at the home admitted neglect on the basis of not administering the correct medication
  • Eight carers and nurses were charged with wilful neglect relating to injuries on her body but the prosecution dropped the case three weeks into the trial in 2008
  • Following the inquiry, Dr Prana Das faced charges relating to neglect and fraud at two care homes he owned - Brithdir Care Home in New Tredegar, near Bargoed, and The Beeches in Blaenavon
  • But after he suffered a violent assault by burglars, the trial against him was shelved in 2013 but the charges against him remain on file
  • Operation Jasmine was a seven year inquiry
  • 75 police staff involved
  • More than 4,000 statements taken
  • 100 potential victims identified
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  • If you have information or intelligence that you think would be of help to the review team please contact the secretary on: 029 2082 6460.

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