One Man's Voice 
"An Innocent Prisoner, a hard story to Tell" by  John Barrass

This page is dedicated to Vera Barrass, her husband George and son John

                                               'Care Means Care, Justice in Care'



4 November 2016   North Devon Gazette "North Devon man’s calls for care home regulation reform are debated in parliament"  Click HERE

3 November 2016 Peter Heaton-Jones MP bring John's document into the House of Commons speech. Click HERE .

September 2016  Steve Turner, Director of Care Right Now and good friend of Your Voice Matters kindly offered to go through John's document and rewrite into a shorter document, that could be used for circulation. Click HERE. The Document can be read in full further down this page.

8 August 2016 Your Voice Matters and John Barrass meet Peter Heaton-Jones to discuss how to progress our efforts when Parliament returns.

"Your Voice Matters first connected with John in July 2015.  We have supported John in this journey since, exchanging frequent communication. We are truly delighted he has received correspondence from Theresa May MP and his Document has been raised in Parliament.  John deserves recognition for the time, effort and passion he has put into this fight.  I hope we can now move forward with Peter Heaton-Jones to bring desperately needed reform to the care home sector. Well done John from Your Voice Matters"

8 August 2016.  Peter Heaton-Jones MP, john Barrass, Jenny Moore Your Voice Matters.

Meeting at constituency office, Barnstaple

4 March 2016.  We need to keep pushing for care reform, says Devon campaigner.
Plymouth Herald. Click HERE

30 January 2016.  Devon MP's elderly care campaign progressing 'quickly' as minister confirms meeting
 Western Morning News.   Click HERE

Peter Heaton-Jones MP led a debate on care homes in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 4th November 2015 at
16:30 pm to 17:30 pm.  He is the MP for John Barrass, a relative who is passionate about influencing change to our consistently failing care home sector.

To watch the Parliamentary debate Click HERE.

"I ask should we have a care system in this educated , intelligent, developed , wealthy , country?"

"It is in crisis, it has been in crisis for the last 20 years, in THE NURSING HOME SECTOR. No rights,
No justice for any of the frail, vulnerable, elderly.  It needs a massive political debate of all colours to change it!  Do the politicians care?"

"We need everyone's support , MEDIA , PRESS , ORGANISATIONS , CHARITIES , to change this! Do you care enough to help to do this! Please have patience to read this DOCUMENT to the end.  Thank you."

John Malcolm Barrass, 29th October 2015

                                                            'CARE MEANS CARE ',  ' JUSTICE IN CARE '
                                                                                by John Barrass

In this country, if you are old, frail, you are not only vulnerable, you are bottom of the pile, end of your life, so what, it doesn't matter.

We have had 20 years or more of appalling care to prove this, had documentaries made, appalling stories told, nothing has been done about this.

THE FACTS, figures from Age UK 2012-13, approx. 50,000 of the vulnerable elderly suffering mistreatment, abuse and neglect in nursing homes.

Radio 5 Live 22nd Feb 2015, thousands of safeguarding complaints, elderly, vulnerable.


2013-14  1 in 5 homes failing key tests.

In the last 5 years 400 small nursing homes closing down, putting the frail elderly vulnerable in larger homes, without enough staff and qualified staff to deal with them, Southern Cross and many others that charities know about, prove this.

In the next 15 years there are going to be twice the amount of 85 year olds, and 3 times the 65 year olds picking up their pensions.

The system is in CRISIS now.  CQC Chief Inspector Andrea Sutcliffe told BBC Breakfast TV in Oct 2014 "the standard of care homes in England is not good enough at the moment."

CQC Chairman David Prior said at the start of the CQC annual accountability at the Healthcare Select meeting on 16th Dec 2014  "the CQC are still not fit for purpose we have not got where we want to be."

The Parliamentary Healthcare Ombudsman, Dame Julie Mellor has been forced into raising the investigation figures using only the same staff by spending less time than before accessing the cases and more time investigating the cases , still spending less time than before, pushing the investigating figures up from 400 to 2000.  When you are spending less time doing both what happens to the serious cases as before as my mothers, and cases like the Titcombe baby's case, and the Sam Morrish boy's case down here in Devon. But what purpose are the Ombudsman there for they are not there to investigate nursing homes , they are there to investigate government depts and the NHS hospitals?

The total cost to the taxpayer together is in excess of £400 million.  What are they getting for their money?  An antiquated system, falling apart at the seams.   There are many many other revelations I could go on and on about. That is why charities like the Patients Association and many more, are inundated with complaints that the Ombudsman are not looking into their cases properly.

Mr Barrass asks "When will this appalling treatment under the name CARE for the vulnerable, elderly, frail in nursing homes in this country end?" The answer he believes after investigating the system for 5 years is in this document below.

On the 26th May 2005 my mother suffered in the medical terms a dense right sided hemiparesis total anterior circulation, stroke left her aphasic, with a dense right hemiplegia.  A serious stroke needing 24 nursing care , having multiple health problems and multiple health needs. This is what care she received and how she had to die.  AN INNOCENT PRISONER. THIS IS A HARD STORY TO TELL.

Imagine what it must be like to be paralysed on one side,unable to talk or call out for help, press a buzzer, eat or drink, unable to walk, then imagine being fed and watered via a tube, the only quality of life you have is to see and hear people.  You are told you need a stimulating environment and responsive therapy. Instead you are placed in a nursing home which is unsuitable for your needs.  Denied a correct chair for your quality of life, you cannot get out of your room for 4 months, then given a standard transit wheelchair deemed to be unsafe, under the health and safety factor (had to support mums head once for 2 hrs with my own hand whilst wheeling her around in this chair) , had to use this chair for 8 months, then when given the correct chair, but not enough staff to get out you out of your room on a regular basis.  Imagine being left in a soiled bed for 1 to 3 hrs, (one time left for 1 hr 20 mins the staff preferred to have there tea break first). However your mouth is not swabbed regularly so you develop crusty lumps around your teeth and on your tongue, nearly die in the first month of care due to a chest infection not dealt with properly and promptly, blood tests not done on time, and then develop the worst case of constipation a hospital Dr has seen in 9 years, because you were not given the correct bowel medication, care home Dr say your family are fixated on this.



On 23rd October during the early hours of the morning, my mum died in a North Devon Hospital.


The last 6 days of her life saw her experience great suffering beyond anything she had already endured in the 4 years leading up to this time and place THESE ARE MY MUMS FINAL 6 DAYS.


Her feed tube needed changing, could and should have been changed one month earlier. Due to this, complications set in (which involved a drug, flu vaccination, super public catheter).  Mums last 6 days not checked by a Doctor, no management on at the weekend, allowed to have a feed tube change on Monday, when clearly condition at weekend needed looking into.


After being administered a Flu Jab one afternoon by the evening she had mucus / saliva running from the corner of her mouth like a water tap switched on, this continued for 4 days, then subsided for 6 days.


Day one Saturday. However when swabbing mums mouth I noticed a massive / piece and amount of mucus / saliva heavy phlegm.  Staff told us it was only phlegm and did not call a Doctor.


Day two Sunday. Mum has vomited brown liquid, staff said it looks like dried blood, they did not call a Doctor , nor the home management.


Day three Monday. Mum went into hospital to have her feed tube changed (endoscopy). When she arrived back at the home, her tongue and lip were swollen followed later by difficulties with congestion (upper throat and chest) , still no Doctor called.  A temperamental red suction machine has been left in mums room.


Day four Tuesday.  Mum still has congestive problems with a swollen tongue and lip with bruising under her chin again no Doctor called. Arranged to see the nursing home Doctor tomorrow, on his regular Wednesday visit.

Day five Wednesday. I discovered mum had a tooth missing , which no one recorded or explained to us how where and when it happened, yet two nurses told us they noticed it missing.  I noticed a hospital suction machine left in mums room (serious issues a rise from this discovery) the nursing home Doctor who we asked to see the day before had disappeared before we got there? Told by staff he had ordered antibiotics for mum. After this the emergency Doctor was called who immediately rang for an ambulance and oxygen for mum.Mum arrived at the hospital 4 blood tests were taken. One arrived within 30 mins , found she had a major infection, put her on antibiotics, she was transferred to the medical assessment unit, her breathing has eased a little.

Day six Thursday. I arrive to see mum it feels if she has been given up on, I am told she is very poorly.  She has been taken off the antibiotics and saline drip.  Her breathing and congestion has got worse.  Why has she been left to die like this just 3 days after all she went through?  It is a shock and more than I can bear.


1.  The Parliamentary Ombudsman would not investigate this only access

2.  We have 20 questions and issues unanswered by the Parliamentary Ombudsman

3.  Find they had 9 limited powers to investigate

4.  The legality side, costs outway compensation for the elderly

5.  After 5 years investigating this , nowhere to go to get this looked into properly or fairly

6.  This raises serious questions for everyone

7.  If they cant look into mums case properly or fairly 

8.  They can't look into anyone else's properly or fairly

9.  How can this be right?


Why did my mother go to have a feed tube change to keep her alive , to die 3days after?
Why was my mother put through all of this?
For what reason?

Simply ask the question WHY?


1.    Are the Parliamentary Ombudsman fit for purpose to look into private nursing homes?

2.    Are the CQC fit for purpose when they still do not look into individual cases in nursing homes?

3.    Have nursing homes got enough staff and quality staff to take care of vulnerable patients who need
       24 hour care?

4.    Should patients like my mother ever have been put into these homes?

5.    Should there be special NHS units for 24 hour care patients with multiple health needs like my mums?

6.    What rights have the old, frail and vulnerable got in private nursing homes?

7.    Continuing Health Care funding for the very vulnerable paid by the tax payer to private nursing homes,
       yet have loopholes in the system not to be investigated thoroughly?

8.    Care means Care whether it is Private or NHS, when anything serious happens in nursing homes, and it

       involves the hospital NHS, both sides will not comment what the other side have done , yet are both caring

       for a patient, so the patient gets caught in the middle of all of this not getting clear answers to what has

       happened to them?

9.    Equipment ie specialist equipment , profiling beds etc, no law to make the nursing homes provide , the
       CCG were set up to deal with this, but still problems with no law to provide?10.Because of the system as it

       is, when anyone finds anything out no one will talk after fear of legal action, there has to be a new system

       free from legal interference?

11.  Because of Continuing Health Care paid for 24 hr vulnerable patients, paid by the taxpayer, it is the

        Government NHS responsibility not the legal responsibility to investigate accountability and answers for

        the families of love ones who have been affected?


1.     A big political debate about all my investigation raises.


2.     The PASC should hold meetings only about the nursing home sector and nothing else, so they know more

        and can scrutinise more.

3.     The CQC and the parliamentary Ombudsman are not fit for purpose anymore to inspect, regulate and

         investigate nursing homes and a new one body only needs to be set up, with more powers to regulate,

         inspect  and investigate nursing homes doing the job together, to investigate all individual cases, to get

         accountability, free from legal interference.

4.      Because the system as it stands at the moment , no one will ever get justice.  No one under the word

         'Care' should ever have to go through this.  Don't let this happen to anyone's mother again.

When independent consultant nurse Lynne Phair said in the Panorama Documentary 'Behind Closed Doors' on 30th April 2014  "To pull out a vulnerable patients buzzer is to cut there lifeline, and to imprison them". That must be what happened to my mum, she was imprisoned for a crime she did not commit.

I believe these deplorable events must be brought to the public's attention to prevent similar things happening again.  After all, anyone of us who cannot talk, shout out for help without enough staff and quality staff to look after us must be in prison too.

Thanking you all for taking the time to read this.  It is desperately important this gets out to the public.

Anything you can do to help will be appreciated."

Yours sincerely
John Malcolm Barrass
Thursday 26th March 2015

14 November 2015 Western Morning News Editorial  Click HERE

The Your Voice Matters Team wish to thank John for his continued efforts towards the Cause.  We know how hard it is to be heard, to break through the barriers the care sector, media and Government put up before you to silence the reality.

Is it because the issue is so huge they do not know how to deal with it?  

Is it because they want the public to reject care homes, convince them 'care in the community is the way to go' whilst avoiding telling them resources are not there?   

In the future as families try their best to look after loved ones, some of whom may have dementia, a time may come when they realise that their loved one requires more specialist care than they can provide.

Families will realise they need 24 hour care,  but by that time, the only option we believe will be available will be high profiteering care villages for the rich.  These are already emerging.  Our new era of care homes and it is worth noting, some are already failing.  They are no different to what we have now, just presented in fancy wrapping.  Standards of care remain the same.  Families will be left to struggle on, which so many already do now.

It is up to us to unite and change the present for those who may be in their final years, but even more importantly break this pattern for the future.

It looks like it is down to us all, the people of this country.  We need to make a stand and shape the future. There are some genuine Politicians who want to help, we must tap into them.  The rest will follow when they know they have no choice.

There must be more John's out there ....

Join us, unite and make history happen.  Care of our vulnerable has to change.