Abuse enquiry at The Granary care home near Nailsea
By Carol_Deacon | Wednesday, February 06, 2013, 12:01
POLICE have arrested two workers at a care home following allegations of abuse against a patient.
The Granary care home
The Granary care home
The care workers at The Granary in Lodge Lane, Wraxall, have been arrested on suspicion of assault and neglect of an elderly woman patient.
Both men have been suspended from their duties and released on bail pending further investigation while an inquiry gets under way.
Relatives of residents were called to a meeting on Sunday to be told of the arrests.
It is believed the allegations came to light after a concerned family installed a hidden camera in the room of an elderly female patient.
The family say they were shocked when viewing recordings to see a worker apparently physically abusing their parent.
A friend of the family, who asked not to be named, said: "I am sure this is not systematic throughout the home and a lot of caring and professional people work there."
Shaw Healthcare, which also raised concerns about the behaviour of the two male staff members with police, owns the purpose-built, 60-bed care home, for people aged over 65.
The three-storey building is a specialist centre for people with dementia and also has a separate healthcare unit for up to 18 people.
A joint investigation by North Somerset Council, Avon and Somerset police, the Care Quality Commission and Shaw Healthcare into the allegations has now been launched.
A police spokesman said: "Two male members of staff have been arrested on suspicion of assault and neglect."
Concerns were first raised with the CQC in June last year, in relation to the care and welfare of people at the home.
CQC inspectors made an unannounced visit and said improvements needed to be made to the standards of care, treatment and support for patients, and to the standards of caring for people safely and protecting them from harm.
Inspectors found the home met the required standards of staffing, quality and suitability of management, and the standards required in treating people with respect and involving them in their care.
Shaw Healthcare was asked to detail what measures it planned to put in place to ensure services improved.
CQC inspectors revisited the home during the second week of January and a report on their findings is due out later this month.
North Somerset Council spokeswoman, Zoe Briffitt, said: "We are working closely with Avon and Somerset police, the Care Quality Commission and Shaw Healthcare following concerns raised about the treatment of a resident at the Granary Residential and Nursing Home in Wraxall.
"Our priority remains the wellbeing of the residents who live there and we will be monitoring the home closely during the investigation."
Detective Inspector Mark Coleman, of Avon and Somerset police, said: "We are working with our multi-agency partners to look into concerns raised about the care of an elderly resident at a care home in Wraxall, North Somerset.
"Officers from the Public Protection Team are working closely with North Somerset Council Adult Social Services."
The Granary, which opened in November 2008 and is described by Shaw Healthcare as a 'purpose-built centre of excellence for dementia care', employs 140 staff.
A Shaw Healthcare spokesperson said: "Following a meeting with a family member, when we were recently made aware of incidents of poor care relating to a resident at one of our care homes, we immediately referred the matter to the police and informed all relevant local authority teams.
"Members of staff connected to the incident have since been suspended, pending the outcome of a police and our own investigation.
"We acknowledge the anxiety and distress that this has caused the resident and their family and we also wanted to have the opportunity to reassure the other residents and families, so have held meetings to update them on the situation and let them know that we are taking the matter extremely seriously.
"A previous CQC inspection of The Granary highlighted some areas for improvement, which resulted in us implementing an internal action plan to remedy the issues raised, although they are unrelated to the current situation.
"It is not appropriate for us to comment further while the investigation is underway."