Wayne David, Labour MP for Caerphilly, has called for a public inquiry into standards in care homes in Wales. This follows the decision not to put on trial Dr Prana Das, the owner of care homes where the alleged abuse took place.
The decision by the relevant judge follows a 7 year inquiry called Operation Jasmine. This was funded by the Home Office to the tune of £11.6 million. The inquiry began in 2005 after serious concerns were expressed about the treatment of a number of residents in South Wales care homes. Two of the care homes were Bryngwyn Mountleigh nursing home in Newbridge and Holly House care home in Fleur-De-Lys, Hengoed Caerphilly.
Now, Mr David is calling for a public inquiry into care standards of nursing homes for the elderly in Wales. This was discussed when Mr David was a Wales Office Minister but was not pursued at that time because it could have interfered with the legal processes that were underway. However, as Operation Jasmine is drawing to a close, Mr David believes that it is imperative that lessons are learnt from what the police inquiry has uncovered.
Mr David said, “Operation Jasmine was a major police inquiry. Enormous resources were committed to it and the examples of elder abuse in care homes which were examined were truly awful. It is therefore essential that lessons are learnt and that standards and procedures are improved in the light of this inquiry.”
On Friday Mr David will be meeting with Gwent Police to discuss Operation Jasmine and the decision not to place Dr Das on trial. Mr David believes that Dr Das’ co-accused, Paul Black of Gloucester, should nevertheless stand trial as there are a number of serious charges against him as well as against Dr Das.
Mr David said, “Unfortunately it seems that Dr Das is not fit enough to stand trial. It does not follow however that Mr Black should not go on trial. If he is fit enough and there are significant charges against him, then he should face those charges. The relatives of those who were ‘allegedly’ abused deserve this.”