Six months after the allegations of starving, sick and neglected residents in the Senecura home in Salzburg-Lehen, the judiciary has made a decision: the investigations against 16 people, including ten nurses, will be discontinued. “They did their human best to keep the business going,” says the prosecutor.
The Ombudsman’s Office got the case rolling with a report on the disastrous conditions in the Senecura home. This was followed by political consequences: The responsible state councilor Heinrich Schellhorn has announced his resignation. The “Krone” reported extensively at the time. At the same time, the public prosecutor’s office began investigations into suspected torment and neglect of defenseless people and physical harm. Several interrogations and a court-commissioned report later confirmed that the Salzburg public prosecutor’s office had stopped investigating 16 people: ten nursing assistants, three qualified nurses, two division heads and one home manager were affected. “A gross neglect was not detectable,” explains spokeswoman Elena Haslinger. Wounded woman was recalcitrantHaslinger also reports in the “Krone” interview about the reason for the investigations, which was shown by the state during controls: a massive wound in an elderly woman. “As the investigations showed, the woman concerned was not completely defenseless. She clearly communicated her will and was quite recalcitrant.” The woman is said to have resisted rearrangements and rejected the efforts of the nurses. In December 2021 she came to the home: Her nutritional status was said not to have been good even then. “It was definitely not like the nurses were just watching. Rather, the statements of the accused consistently show that those affected have done their job and have done their human best to maintain the nursing service. Those responsible for the home were informed by the accused about the problems and the thin staffing level. According to the report, there is a lack of legal requirements from the state. Interesting is also the finding of the experts who are preparing a report from the field of health and nursing: According to the prosecution, they described excessive demands, a lack of workers and poor communication. The expert is critical of the fact that there is no maintenance key. “There is no statutory requirement from the state government for the number of carers,” emphasizes Haslinger.