A carer at a Salisbury Care Home has been convicted of abusing residents living with dementia, throwing shoes at one and pulling another one down a flight of stairs.

Agneskia Sztokmanska worked at Milford Manor Care Home in Wiltshire for three years, during which she regularly treated residents living with dementia with cruelty.


She was convicted of five counts of ill treatment or wilfully neglecting a person.

Yet another horrible, horrible story of care home abuse, which unfortunately only add to the generally held view that this is what happens in every care home; it is not, but stories like this do not help to alleviate people’s concerns.

The reporting on this case cited how other carers raised the alarm when they saw bruises on residents and saw her throwing a shoe at one of them, but why o why did it take three years to discover this about her, or indeed report it?

A good ..or a bad care home is run  by a manager.  A good manager will always be paying attention to their residents and how they are cared for, so it has to be said, that surely the management of this care home also have to be held to account?




I read this interesting article about care worker training in The Guardian today, in the light of the recent Panorama programme and the publication tomorrow of the Kingsmill report into working conditions in the care sector.

Whilst I applaud what it is asking, that more funding is delivered into the care sector for training, I think that it is ignoring the most crucial aspect of what these dreadful Panorama programmes and other care stories highlight- the lack of ‘care’ in the care sector.

You can given people as many NVQ’s as you want, put every single care home manager in the country through management training, but if fundamentally you have people working in the care sector who don’t care and have no empathy for those vulnerable people that they are caring for, then it is money wasted.

I started work as a carer aged 16, and had about two weeks training by shadowing senior workers, learning how to move and handle care home residents etc.  Back in the day (and we are talking 25 years ago) there was no specific dementia care training or indeed dementia care facilities for people, you simply looked after them to the best of your ability.

Thus it was with Mrs A, who, in the later stages of dementia, you could have a battle with everyday to help her to get dressed, much like you would with a toddler.  Hence, everyday, as you were getting Mrs A dressed, you would explain to her how today, was our shopping day and we were off to to Harrods for some special shopping.  As you were getting her dressed, you talked about what you would look to buy, who else might be coming, how long it would take etc, etc.

None of this was arrived at via dementia training, but simply through common sense and having empathy with another human being’s choices and motivations.  That, ultimately, is what I believe care to be- listening to and understanding those vulnerable people you are caring for- it isn’t something that can be trained, and unfortunately, it seems to be increasingly something which is in short supply.


A report by the Scottish Government has recommended that people suffering from long-term chronic illnesses who are treated in a care home or home care setting should have their funding cut.

The report recommended that only patients being treated in a hospital or NHS-funded care home should have their treatment paid for.

It said: “Only those individuals who are required to live in hospital should be exempted from charges relating to their accommodation.
“All other individuals, whatever their age or disability should contribute to the funding of accommodation costs, should their financial situation permit.”
This is quite a shocking state of affairs, and seems ill-thought out in terms of being a cost saving measure.  To keep a patient in a hospital bed costs more than £2,000 per week. To keep them in a care home or home care setting costs in the region of £700 per week, so how, pray tell, is this set to reduce costs?
Surely all that will happen is that patients will end up ‘bed-blocking’ in a hospital setting for much longer than they currently are which will only compound the current funding and staffing crisis in the NHS?


Placing CCTV cameras in care homes- is that really the way forward?

April 28, 2014

In response to the programme, HC-One, who are one of the care home groups featured in the programme, are considering placing CCTV cameras into its’c are homes. On the surface of it, this might seem like a sensible idea, after all, it can only help to further the safeguarding of vulnerable care home residents, isn’t […]

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Care home residents in West Berkshire enjoy private concerts

April 27, 2014

Four care homes in West Berkshire were treated to their own private music concerts by talented musicians recently. The four care homes, Notrees Care Home in Kintbury, Chestnut Walk Care Home in Hungerford, the Willows Edge Care Home in Shaw and Walnut Close Care Home in Thatcham, received the concerts as part of a Music in […]

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