Bonnyrigg care home whistleblower reveals drug use and online abuse of residents

A whistleblower has claimed that drug use and abuse of residents has been carried out by five members of staff at a care home in Bonnyrigg, and has raised these concerns with the Care Inspectorate.

Springfield Bank care home in Cockpen Crescent, Bonnyrigg.
Springfield Bank care home in Cockpen Crescent, Bonnyrigg.

The staff member at Springfield Bank Care Home is concerned about the wellbeing of residents who come into contact with the five staff members at the facility on Cockpen Crescent, which currently has more than 45 staff members in total through permanent and agency workers.

The whistleblower told the Evening News they have passed on screenshots of social media group chats describing drug use at the HC-One-run home and mocking residents.

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They said: “I made a complaint to the Care Inspectorate. I gave them evidence of staff members using and selling drugs within the property and mocking staff, residents and residents’ families on a Facebook group chat. And just inappropriate chats like wanting a resident’s husband to fancy them.

"Some of these residents are very vulnerable with conditions like dementia. When I reported this, the Care Inspectorate were highly disappointed as the home has been in the papers before.

"It is a small minority of staff though. Mostly aged 20-23, although there is one who is slightly older and who is a mother.Two of them sat in a resident’s room while the resident was asleep because they were depressed and wanted to sit in a dark, quiet room. There is no dignity there at all.

"I didn’t go to my line manager as I didn’t think anything would be done about it. It’s quite clique. But I take my job to heart, I love it. But this shows these people don’t care at all about the residents. They are just there because it’s a job, to pay for the things they like in life.

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"And I say it’s just those five people but you never know how widespread this could be, as it is quite a clique place.”

The whistleblower described the “horrible” comments staff members made about residents on the social media chat. They said: "I got added to the group chat for outside work banter but I actually muted it. And as I was scrolling through the messages while catching up I was absolutely disgusted by what they were saying.

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"They mentioned people spilling their dinner down themselves, it’s horrible. They also talked about drug use and coming into work ‘coked out their face’.”

The Springfield Bank whistleblower raised concerns with the Care Inspectorate last month and is hoping that action is taken at the 86-bed care home.

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They added: "The Care Inspectorate have to go through a hearing before they can take action. I have heard nothing back, but I’ve done my part. It’s been passed on to other bodies like the police and the Scottish Social Services Council.

"I know for a fact that my manager knows about this situation and yet these five staff members are still working under that roof. They shouldn’t be working in any care home.”

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This latest revelation from the Bonnyrigg care home comes after two complaints were upheld by the Care Inspectorate last year, which led to an investigation by Midlothian Council’s Health and Social Care Partnership.

In response to this latest revelation, a spokesperson for Springfield Bank said: "The health, safety and wellbeing of our residents is our utmost priority, and we take very seriously any allegations of behaviour which threaten to undermine that. We are undertaking extensive internal investigations to establish the full facts of the matter. To date, none of the claims relating to the behaviour of these colleagues in the home have been verified by our investigations, or by external bodies.

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“We will not hesitate to take action where we feel that anyone working in our homes has breached our values of trust, respect and kind care."

A spokesperson from the Care Inspectorate said: "We are aware of the concerns raised and are in dialogue with the provider. We will continue to monitor the service closely.

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"Everyone in Scotland has the right to good quality, safe care which meets their needs and respects their rights.

"Anyone with a concern can contact us on 0345 600 9527."