Shocking treatment of elderly patient

Why this horror ‘abuse’ caught on hidden camera was OK

THESE are the distressing moments Jean Robins has her hair pulled by her nurses, gets pinned down and dragged around by her broken leg.

But despite the hidden camera evidence, Magistrate Gregory Smith earlier this year acquitted the carers of all charges.

The 92-year-old had been left with bruising and skin tears during her treatment at her Morrison Lodge nursing home in Perth.

This footage, provided to ABC's Four Corners, was captured over three weeks when Mrs Robins had recently broken her leg and had worsening dementia.

Her son Ed Robins, who set up the camera, said she would wake up and try get out of bed, forgetting she could not walk.

Carers can be seen pushing his mother down in the bed, dragging her by her legs and pulling her hair.

 

This is one of the times Jean Robins gets pushed down by the shoulders by one of the nurses. Picture: ABC
This is one of the times Jean Robins gets pushed down by the shoulders by one of the nurses. Picture: ABC

At one point Mrs Robins, visibly distressed, says, "Don't pull my hair," and tries to whack the staff away.

They can also be seen laughing as they shove her around.

Mrs Robins was also left lying on the floor for more than 20 minutes calling for help.

"Mum was in pain, obviously, putting her hands up to protect herself, and they're throwing her leg in," Mr Robins said.

Mr Robins took the footage to Morrison Lodge who called Perth police.

 

The carers can be seen dragging and pulling Mrs Robins by the legs, one of which had been broken. Picture: ABC
The carers can be seen dragging and pulling Mrs Robins by the legs, one of which had been broken. Picture: ABC

 

Two carers were charged with 12 counts of assault.

But Magistrate Smith found the carers were run off their feet and Mrs Robins was "often violent and abusive towards staff".

He said the situation was akin dealing with a difficult child, trying to get a toddler into a car seat and doing their seatbelt up.

"If that child is compliant, then some force is needed, but not much," he said.

"If the child is resisting, then more force is needed. If the child is throwing a complete tantrum, then obviously extra force is needed to achieve what has to be achieved."He admitted some people would view the footage differently and the carers could have used a "little bit less force".

 

The nurse on the right is seen laughing as the other throws her hands up because Mrs Robins is getting distressed by their treatment. Picture: ABC
The nurse on the right is seen laughing as the other throws her hands up because Mrs Robins is getting distressed by their treatment. Picture: ABC

 

But he said even if he thought that, it would not be enough for a conviction and he awarded costs to the two carers.

Mr Robins said it was abuse and his mother remains at the lodge with the video camera.

"I don't think many Australians know what goes on. There should be cameras in every room," Mr Robins said.

Australian Aged Care Quality Agency sanctioned Morrison Lodge and suspended government funding for new residents for three months.

But since then, the home's 100 per cent accreditation rating has been restored and anyone looking at reports on the Agency's website will find no mention of what happened there.

Four Corners has uncovered more disturbing cases of assault and even death in its major investigation into aged care across Australia.

Despite this, homes involved maintain their 100 per cent accreditation rating from the Quality Agency.

Part Two of Who Cares? will air at 8.30pm tonight on ABC TV and ABC iview.

One of the staff pushes the 92-year-old down on her head. Picture: ABC
One of the staff pushes the 92-year-old down on her head. Picture: ABC

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