FAILING care homes should be put on strict improvement programmes, the Welsh Government has been told, following an investigation into an establishment in Criccieth.

The Government heard a from Janet Finch-Saunders, Aberconwy AM, that allegations had been made about of elder abuse and neglect at the Pines Residential Home in Criccieth.

Mrs Finch-Saunders, who is shadow cabinet secretary for social care, told Huw Irranca-Davies, the responsible minister, she was horrified to learn of the horrific failings and incidences of alleged abuse and neglect at the home.

Speaking in the Senedd, she said: “There is apparent evidence of falsifying documents, medications hidden in residents' food, unsafe methods of moving residents and an overall lack of dignity and respect in their treatment and care. These are all incidences that fall well below what is expected within Wales and its own care regulations.

“This residential facility was already known to Care Inspectorate Wales and had a number of critical reports against its conduct and treatment of residents, but the poor treatment of its vulnerable adults has clearly continued.”

She asked for the Government to ensure any facilities, such as the Pines residential home, are put on strict, meaningful improvement programmes to ensure vulnerable residents are safeguarded against any malpractice or neglect.

Mr Irranca-Davies explained he and the care inspectorate knew of the concerns about the Pines.

He said: “The inspectorate took immediate action on being made aware of those issues and its inspection is ongoing as we speak. Now, because of that, it's difficult for me to comment further about the Pines.”

He added the Welsh Government has moved away from minimum standards as people choose to meet the minimum standard and no more, and now focuses on continual improvement which is what is wanted from all care homes. He said: “It also places an emphasis on the importance of the individual, on their care, their support and on supporting them in what their needs are.”