A minute's silence will be observed in Wales today on the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster.
Calls For Care Home Boss Justice
There are calls for south Wales care home bosses to be prosecuted, after a major review into the neglect and abuse of older people.
The report, “In Search of Accountability” looks into Operation Jasmine, the biggest investigation of its kind in the UK.
It started in 2005, focusing on the deaths of 63 patients in care homes and nursing homes in south east Wales.
In January 2010 the Crown Prosecution Service claimed there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute for negligence manslaughter or wilful neglect.
Then in 2013, a trial involving care home boss Dr Prana Das fell through, after he suffered head injuries.
First Minister Carwyn Jones called for a review into Operation Jasmine, in order to learn from mistakes made for the future.
Dr Margaret Flynn, who wrote the report, said that patients at facilities in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Torfaen suffered “abandonment of common humanity”.
She also stated there was an “inattention to basics like hydration, nutrition, comfort and personal hygiene”:
“It is heart-stopping to know that so many older people, albeit with dementia, in physical health.
“Their deterioration commenced almost immediately, that’s a shocking fact”.
Dr Flynn has set out 12 recommendations including that the residential and nursing care home sector becomes a “sector of primary national strategic importance for Wales” and inquests into the deaths of the 63 pensioners to be carried out.
First Minister Carwyn Jones said:
“Today is a day when our thoughts - as a Government - as a National Assembly - and as a nation, are with the families of those who suffered so much in these events.
They are some of the bravest, most resilient people I have met.
“They have, despite many years of being frustrated in their search for the truth continued to press for answers to their questions and to argue for change.
“The delivery of care is complex and difficult. When it fails it can be truly terrible.
“This report is a powerful reminder of how we must continually monitor services, challenge practice and, most importantly, listen to those closest to it.
“My hope now is that we can work together to avoid such events being repeated ever again.”
Tragedy struck in the village of Aberfan 50 years ago - here's how the disaster unfolded.
Even with the coal tips removed, the landscape of Aberfan still lives in the shadow of tragedy.
50 years after the Aberfan disaster these photos remain some of the most haunting and iconic images.
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