An investigation has been launched after two carers were caught on camera taunting vulnerable dementia patients by torturing their comfort dolls.
Video footage appears to show members of staff at Ashbourne House nursing home in Middleton, Greater Manchester, laughing as they throw a comfort doll to the floor in front of an elderly resident while shouting "die, baby, die!".
In the video, obtained by the Manchester Evening News, a member of staff is heard saying she feels "great" because the elderly resident is upset.
Dementia patients often consider comfort dolls to be "like their own babies", and doll therapy is designed to help manage challenging behaviours, reduce agitation, and improve wellbeing for people living with dementia.
Photographs appear to show the comfort dolls being boiled in a pan, dragged across the floor, strung up by the neck, put into a tumble dryer, and snatched away from a resident.
The video footage and photographs are believed to have been shared between some staff members over WhatsApp.
Pictures of abuse at Ashbourne House nursing home in Middleton
"People like this should not be working in the care industry," a spokesperson for the care home said.
"We have taken immediate action and the appropriate authorities have been informed," they added.
"We will ensure the people involved in this unfortunate incident are reported – and there will be a full investigation."
Ashbourne House, run by Silverdale Care Homes, houses up to 29 elderly people in need of nursing or personal care, including those living with dementia and learning disabilities.
When managers were confronted with the footage two members of staff were suspended pending an investigation, the incident was reported to the police, and legal advisers were consulted, according to the Manchester Evening News.
A spokesperson for Silverdale Care Homes told BuzzFeed News that there is currently an "ongoing investigation", and declined to provide any further comment.
Fiona Rutherford is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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