Head blows, insults and slaps are part of the mistreatment of several caregivers to two elderly women that is seen in the images that Francisco Polonio, a 58-year-old lawyer, recorded in his mother's room at the Los Nogales residence in Hortaleza. The unions demand responsibilities to the Social Policy Department, which last year filed a complaint against the same residence for health reasons signed by 120 relatives. The regional government proposes a sanction of 600,000 euros for the center and the disqualification of its director for five years for hiding complaints and complaints from family members.
Polonio says that up to 15 times he met with the center's management or sent him writings to take some action for the humiliating treatment of his mother, Josefa, now deceased, although the management denies that their meetings were to treat the ill-treatment they are appreciated in the images that yesterday the Cadena SER.
The Community has initiated two disciplinary proceedings for the facts denounced by the Office of the Prosecutor and proposes an economic sanction against the manager of the residence for an amount of up to 600,000 euros, five times more than the maximum sanction filed so far, which was 120,000 euros. In addition, after verifying that the center's management had concealed from the Ministry of Social Policies the complaints and complaints of the relatives of the residents, it is going to propose a disqualification of its director to carry out functions related to social services for a period of five years. In both cases, these proposals will be subject to the judicial resolution, since the action of the regional Administration is linked to it.
According to the story of Polonio, he always found that the facts he denounced were denied: "Scratches, bruises, external signs of violence." The third floor of the center, in which the elderly women who appear in the videos were admitted, is intended for people with reduced mobility and who suffer from some type of mental disorder. Both needed the workers to bathe and clothe them and were unable to relate what happened to them.
Before the complaint to the Provincial Prosecutor's Office of Madrid in December 2018, the lawyer presented in 2016 at the police station another complaint that was sent to the court and dismissed by the judge on having understood that "there was no mistreatment against the old woman". Suspecting that his mother was not being treated well, he placed a camera on the blinds of the room for three days. "Always at bedtime the assistant gave him six or seven slaps. My mother said to him: 'As my son finds out!' She could not tell me anything because she was with the beginning of Alzheimer's, "she says. The nursing assistant, according to Polonio, said that they were not slapping "but caresses".
The lawyer did not desist to discover what happened to his progenitor and managed to obtain sufficient evidence with which to certify what he sensed before the advance of his physical deterioration. In May 2018, he installed a camera to record what was happening in his mother's room and was able to obtain quality images and audio.
In the viewing of the tapes, the investigated Mónica Moya Pérez, Bryan Israel Noboa Calle and María Josefa Trueba López treat the old women with contempt. They beat them on the head, they slap, they insult, they mistreat and they get scared alluding to hell. An abuse that, according to a center employee who asked not to be identified, is more frequent than you think. "In the area where people are without mobility, the treatment by some employees is outrageous," he said.
The Community of Madrid does not have access to the personnel contracts of the private residences with which it has arranged places, so it does not know if the professionals accused of mistreatment are currently working in another center. "What we demand and verify is that the ratios of established professionals are met," say community sources.
Why did not he take his mother out of the center? "I was looking at other residences in the area but the system was the same, you could only access it during visiting hours and not when you bathed it in the morning, when you were eating or when you went to bed to see if it was clean or not. While I was with these efforts my mother died, in July 2018, "says Polonio.
"We are investigating"
The head of the Los Nogales group, José Manuel Rodríguez, opposes the Polonio version: "Neither the letters nor the meetings that this man had with the center's management were related to the mistreatment." His complaints were because he was not allowed He wanted to feed his mother, bathe her, and that kind of thing, but in no case did this gentleman come with the images and show them to us so that the direction could be investigated, "he says. "We are now investigating to see what really happened, and we do not understand why so much time elapsed between the events and the denunciation," he added, after confirming that the Los Nogales group met Thursday with the Community. .
This is not the first complaint against the Los Nogales residential center in Hortaleza. There was a previous one in 2018 for issues related to food and hygiene that was rejected by the Community of Madrid and that was presented by 120 families. In addition, during that year two inspections of Quality Control, Inspection, Registration and Authorizations (CIRA) were carried out: one night and one ordinary.
On the doors of the residence of Hortaleza, elderly people who are hospitalized in this and their relatives were shown this Thursday "desolate" after contemplating the images in which caregivers insistently vex the residents. "I'm broken. I could not imagine that in my residence, of which I was very proud, these things are happening, "said a woman who has been staying in Los Nogales for three years and who disburses 1,600 euros for her stay every month. Meanwhile, the daughter of another inmate, who pays 2,000 euros a month, said she was "destroyed. Poor old women Anyone who sees the images will cry, as it has happened to me. We always claim more staff and better qualified. " Polonio paid 1,100 euros for the stay of his mother to have an agreed place.
Do not criminalize the collective
The unions share the complaints of the relatives and ask not to criminalize the group of workers of nursing homes. "Today, many compañeras who work in residences have come to the union and they have commented to me: 'My Mother, they are going to judge us all for that, I have never seen that in my workplace,' explains Juani Peñafiel, head of the sector of dependency, residences and day centers of the CC OO union and worker in a private residence. In his opinion, "what does not work correctly are the control mechanisms of the Administration, to which so many times it has been claimed to make use of its functions". In this sense, "it can not be that there are three types of residences – public, concerted and private – and that each one of them has a ratio of professionals per resident, because its residents are equal and are not treated the same".
The Community of Madrid has a total of 24,726 residential places for the elderly in the region, of which 6,258 are public places and 18,468 are arranged places, according to data from the Ministry of Social Policies and Family. The cost of the arranged places varies according to several factors; in the case of those included in the Framework Agreement, such as Los Nogales, it is 56.69 euros per day. The Ministry does not know how to specify the price of public places, since it also depends on many factors.
Both public and private schools are subject to a system of control and surveillance through two processes: on the one hand, the technicians of the General Directorate of Care for Dependency make periodic visits to find out if the centers comply with the obligations of the service; On the other hand, the General Subdirectorate for Quality Control of the counseling carries out periodic inspections without prior notice. These inspections are carried out from Monday to Sunday, at different times (also at night), to check compliance with the requirements established in the regulations on social services.
According to the regional government, last year 4,126 inspections were carried out in 1,200 centers in 2018 and 41 sanctions were imposed. When a complaint or claim is received in the General Directorate of Care for Dependency and the Major, a report is requested from the center and then taken into account when the technicians make the control visits to the centers. The Ministry of Social Policies and Family notes that the regional government already carries out twice the inspections required by law.
Peñafiel stresses that "this case is completely exceptional" and generates "a lot of rejection among workers in the sector. He comments on a case in which he suspected "that a worker did not act correctly, I immediately informed the director and dismissed that person at that moment." CC OO has union representation at the Los Nogales residence.
UGT, meanwhile, has also stressed that they have failed the "control mechanisms" and has called for "the immediate intervention of the Community of Madrid and justice" so that "these vexatious acts" committed "against people are investigated promptly. who are in a situation of vulnerability and helplessness. " In a statement, the union has criticized "the lack of sufficient budget allocations for the creation of a network of assistance and care for the elderly."
Gustavo García, responsible for studies of the State Association of Directors and Managers of Social Services, has opted to improve the management of complaints as a way to prevent any abuse: "We must encourage residents and family members to complain, and also the It is not a negative indicator, because they are opportunities for improvement, if they are managed well. "Garcia has advised those who are seeking residence for a family to take into account" if the residence favors the presence of the relative in the center , because the more open they are, the more you can trust them ".