Ilford woman to be sentenced for neglect of elderly patients at Whipps Cross Hospital

An Ilford woman is one of three former Whipps Cross Hospital healthcare assistants who will be sentenced today for treating elderly patients in a way that “simply had no place on any ward”.

Akousa Sakyiwaa, Annette Jackson, and Sharmila Gunda were found guilty of ill-treatment or willful neglect of patients on Beech Ward at the Leytonstone hospital between February and April last year.

Gunda was also convicted of assault by beating following the trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court in June, a court official said.

The three women, who have all now been sacked from the hospital, were charged following a Metropolitan Police inquiry into the hospital after a student nurse acted as a whistleblower.

Sakyiwaa, of Leytonstone; Jackson, of Hounslow; and Gunda, of Ilford, were responsible for looking after elderly female patients with various physical and mental conditions including dementia, prosecutor John McNally said.

He told the court: “An entitlement to proper care should not be a matter of chance or be given at the whim of the carer. The conduct complained of simply had no place on any ward.”

Barts Health NHS trust, which runs the hospital, apologised to patients following the verdicts and stressed it had a “zero tolerance approach” to any form of neglect or ill-treatment.

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In a statement, the trust said: “We apologise unreservedly to the patients of Beech Ward and their families for the indefensible failings in their treatment during their time in our care.

“There can be no place under any circumstances for such behaviour in our trust or in the wider NHS.”