‘Sickening’ care home images highlighted by Gwent MP

10:40am Friday 15th March 2013

By David Deans - Politics reporter

A PROBE into neglect and fraud at Gwent care homes found an anti-psychotic drug in the hair of three victims, it was claimed.

Paul Flynn, Labour MP for Newport West, made the comments in a Parliamentary debate called by Blaenau Gwent MP Nick Smith on Operation Jasmine, an investigation into Gwent care homes.

Mr Smith himself said he had seen graphic pictures of victims’ injuries.

Despite a seven-year operation costing £11.6 million, Dr Prana Das, 66, will never stand trial for a string of charges relating to neglect and fraud at Puretruce Health Care.

A court heard earlier this month that Dr Das suffered a “savage beating” which left him brain damaged. His coaccused, Paul Black, will also not stand trial.

Dr Das was a director at Puretruce Health Care Limited.

Six care homes in Newbridge, Bargoed, Blaenavon, Caerphilly, Abertillery and Ebbw Vale were investigated. Mr Flynn told the Commons: “Is my honourable friend concerned that in Operation Jasmine, chlopromazine was found in the hair of three of the victims?

“It is an anti-psychotic neuroleptic drug that is meant to be used on the deeply psychotic.

The misuse and overuse of drugs to turn patients into zombies and make the home cheaper to run is a significant feature of this disgraceful affair.”

Mr Smith, in reply, said evidence collected by the police must be brought to the public’s attention.

He said pictures he had seen from Operation Jasmine were terrible: “I was shown graphic photos of pressure sores that proved fatal, and of sores that were so infected that the bone beneath was visible.

“They were sickening, and in the words of one expert, the worst they have ever seen.”

Torfaen MP Paul Murphy asked whether the Welsh Government could hold an inquiry once judicial proceedings are complete.

Mark Harper, minister for immigration, said he would raise Mr Smith’s call for the director of public prosecutions and the Crown Proseuction Service to meet families of those involved with the attorney general.

Operation Jasmine began in October 2005 after a patient at a nursing home in Newbridge was admitted to Newport’s Royal Gwent Hospital after being given incorrect doses of medication.

She died on October 27.

● Prana Das robbery trial latest: See page eight

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