A former carer claims she was banned from working in Waltham Forest after raising concerns over the treatment of an elderly woman "living like a dog" in her own home.

Donna Archer, 50, of Park Road, Leyton, has now called greater transparency and training for carers in Waltham Forest following an employment tribunal victory which overturned a suspension from Westminster Homecare.

During her suspension, it was revealed that Waltham Forest council told the private company that it did not want her working in the borough with any care agency.

Ms Archer had worked for carer agencies since 2008 and was paid £7.50 an hour, with most appointments with her 11 clients limited to just 30 minutes.

She raised concerns with her manager after she visited an wheelchair bound 86 year-old woman, named Betty, who she said was living in terrible conditions.

Ms Archer said: “I thought I was the first carer to visit her and she had been struggling to cope by herself.”

“I was shocked to find out that she had been under the care of social services for several years.

“The carpet was soaked with urine and was sticky and black with faeces.

"It was like walking in to an un-kept dog kennel or a chicken coop.

"She was left to defecate in a mop bucket.

“She was unwashed, eating meat which had maggots coming out of it and was suffering badly from diarrhoea and vomiting regularly.

“I raised this with my manager but the other carers just said that she refused to be washed and she was a bad person.

“On my second visit she pleaded with me to help her.

"I offered to listen to her after my 30 minutes were up and she was crying just saying ‘nobody cares, nobody cares’.

"She wanted to be cared for in her home until she died but the system wasn't in place for that. Everyone else thought she was too far gone."

Betty was eventually taken to a care home and her house was sold.

After highlighting the issue, Ms Archer received a call to say a formal complaint had been made against her and she would be relieved of her duties immediately.

“I thought I was going to prison that I had killed somebody,” Ms Archer said.

Her line manager was not permitted tell her who had raised the complaint but she was suspended.

The suspension was overturned at an employment tribunal with Westminster Homecare in March last year, where she was awarded £13,000 for loss of earnings.

She was offered work again with Westminster Homecare but resigned from the firm.

Ms Archer added: “I believe Waltham Forest council have lost their concept of humanity.

"I want to know why they wouldn't let me work in the borough.

“I was having panic attacks, I had no money coming in and being out of work nearly destroyed my relationship with my children and partner.

“I can’t trust anybody anymore.

“I was suicidal but most of all I was really angry. People who really needed help are being treated so poorly.

“I want to start a campaign where carers are recognised for the good work they do.

"I am worried there are other carers out there afraid to speak the truth of their conditions.

“There needs to be better training, like they have for nurses so carers can move upwards and become fully qualified."

Waltham Forest council and Westminster Homecare have been approached for comment.