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Scandalous care: interpreting public enquiry reports of scandals in residential care

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date1999
JournalJournal of Elder Abuse and Neglect
Number of pages15
Original languageEnglish


This article reviews an earlier study written for the Wagner Committee (1988) on scandals in residential care. That review was based on a study of ten enquiry reports, only two of which were about homes for older people. The main events that were described are grouped as: institutionalised practices, indifference and neglect, physical cruelty, humiliation, too authoritarian a life-style, a dull and depressing life-style, an overcrowded and run down environment, disharmony amongst the staff team, and staff misappropriating goods or money. Now, more weight should be given to: residents’ abuse of residents and of staff, an improper influence on the life-style of others, and sexual abuse. Explanations proposed are: structural, environmental, and individual and worker style. Abuse is considered in the context of the nature of direct care and the acts of intimate caring of others.