Care home residents have been inappropriately charged by staff at one of Britain’s leading charities for products ranging from DVDs to Chinese takeaways.
The Royal Mencap Society has already repaid over £60,000 to five residents at one of its homes.
Residents of Dolphin Court in Havant in Hampshire and owned by Mencap, paid tens of thousands of pounds for items they should not have been sold, The Times reports.
One disabled Dolphin Court resident, who couldn’t speak, was charged £126 for a karaoke machine, while another paid for five DVDs but was unable to understand television.
Benefits amounting to thousands of pounds were not paid to one resident of Dolphin Court and money went missing from the home’s safe, the newspaper says.
Hampshire police have been passed a huge batch of complaints relating to Dolphin Court and are looking at the evidence.
Some 20,00 cases of financial abuse are reported every year, according to NHS figures, with a third of these taking place in care homes. Mencap runs 128 registered care home in England and Wales.
Mencap said the Dophin case was an isolated incident and that 12 staff had been sacked over alleged “financial impropriety” since 2010.
One man at Dolphin court was charged over £200 for alcohol and bingo while on a holiday cruise with carers, despite his sister saying he would have been unable to play bingo.
His sister has since jointly set up a company called Finacare, which offers financial record keeping services for vulnerable people. It has so far clawed back over £60,000 for five people at Dolphin Court.