Care Worker Caught On Camera Torturing Comfort Dolls Of Dementia Patients Is Named

Two care workers have been suspended from their jobs at the Ashbourne House nursing home in Middleton, Greater Manchester, after disturbing video has surfaced. The video shows the workers tormenting dementia patients by taking their comfort dolls, which the patients think are real children, and “torturing” them. Now, one of them has had their name released and it is Shauna-Leigh Higgin.

According to The Daily Mail, therapy dolls are given to dementia patients at Ashbourne House, and many of them believe the babies to be theirs and real. Uproar came about when video and pictures of the care workers torturing the dolls had made its way out.

The dolls were thrown in a dryer and spun around. Other images show a doll in a pan on the stove and being cooked. There is even an image of a doll hanging over a wall and outside of a window with a noose around its neck.

This particular image was said to have been taken after the resident owner of the comfort doll was sleeping. Lights were put on after staff members burst into her room and took the doll.

There were some times that Higgin was caught on camera throwing the dolls hard onto the ground right in front of patients. One time, she is even heard screaming “Die, baby, die!” after pitching the doll onto the floor.

A co-worker can be heard asking Higgin how she feels about what she has done, and it only gets worse from there.

Higgin is heard laughing very loudly at the question and then answering in horrible fashion. To give her answer, Higgin states that she feels “great because [patient’s name withheld] is upset” about the doll hitting the floor.

Numerous pictures have been released that show the actions of Higgin and even one patient who is visibly upset by the situation. The elderly woman has the doll in her hands and then gets truly distressed when Higgin strips the doll right out of her hands, according to Mirror.

All of the families of residents who were involved in the situation with Higgin have been notified and advised. They’ve also been told of the actions that management at Ashbourne House intend to take in defense of their ill family members.


Comfort or therapy dolls are said to do a lot of good and help dementia patients considerably. Relatives of the residents said that the dolls have truly help comfort and relax and even trigger some memories for their family members at Ashbourne House.

The Greater Manchest Police have confirmed that a complaint has been made on Higgin and regarding the actions taken at Ashbourne House. It is not known how much they will be involved in the investigation or if they’ll simply allow the nursing home to take action.

The Health and Care Professionals Council has been advised of everything as has the Disclosure and Barring Service. It is expected that the Care Quality Commission chiefs will end up taking action as just in July of last year, inspectors said there were breaches in the Health and Social Care Act at the home.

Shauna-Leigh Higgin and other family members have declined to comment on anything that has happened.

Management at Ashbourne House is stunned and shocked by the actions that were taken by Shauna-Leigh Higgin and the other unnamed staff member. They are conducting an investigation and consulting with employment lawyers about what actions can be taken. They assure families of other dementia patients that no such treatment of them or their comfort dolls will happen again.

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