AddThis SmartLayers

Watchdog throws out sensationalism claim against weekly newspaper

IPSO_logo_newA care home manager has had his complaint about a weekly newspaper’s “negative” report about his facility thrown out.

Clive Weir, the manager/director of Boars Tye Residential Home Ltd, complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Braintree & Witham Times breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article which reported that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) had told the home it “must improve”.

The article said the home had breached three of the CQC’s regulations and “requires improvement”, citing examples from the commission’s report, and added Mr Weir was “not prepared to comment until he had a chance to write a formal report”.

The complainant said that the newspaper had only reported the negative aspects of the CQC report giving a significantly misleading impression of the regulator’s conclusions and that it had, in fact, concluded that the home had “very caring staff” with contented residents and happy relatives.

Mr Weir added the Times had “sensationally” asserted that the home had been “branded” – rather than “rated” – as “requires improvement”.

In response, the Times said the CQC’s findings were “serious and in the public interest” – including residents having been given the wrong medicine, ineffective measures in place to ensure residents were safe, and criticism of the overall service provided by the home.

Mr Weir had declined to comment before publication, and further declined the offer of a follow-up piece after publication.

The complaint was not upheld, and the full adjudication can be read here.