Owner of UK care home group paid himself £21m despite safety concerns

Exclusive: ‘Eye-watering’ pay for Gordon Sanders comes despite inspectors finding multiple breaches of rules at his firm’s homes

A multimillionaire dementia home boss paid himself at least £21m in five years despite inspectors finding multiple breaches of staffing, safety and leadership rules, with residents left in dirty incontinence pads and staff accused of rough handling.

Gordon Sanders owns Runwood Homes, the UK’s sixth largest for-profit care home group, which charges residents more than £1,000 a week, with bills often covered by the taxpayer.

At Silvanna Court in Wickford “insufficient staff were available, which placed people at risk of harm”. One staff member said: “[residents] are always soiled but we just don’t have enough of us to take [them] to the toilet.” Medicines were not always managed safely.

At St Michael’s Court in Norwich one person was given a sedative three times a day when it was prescribed on an as-required basis. Staff were “rushed off their feet” trying to look after two or three people at once, and people were not consistently offered enough to drink.

At Highview Lodge in Hemel Hempstead, some residents said staff “could be a bit rough when supporting them with care needs or moving”. One person said: “Most of them are kind, some are rough and throw me about.”

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