FIVE members of staff have been suspended from a care home for dementia sufferers as police investigate allegations thatresidents have been subjected to abuse.
The £563-a-week Craw wood care home in Tweedbank, Scottish borders, is under investigation following claims that the 25 residents at the facility had suffered physical and verbal abuse from members of staff.
Scottish Borders Council has deployed social work staff to the facility, which is run by the Eildon Housing Association, and has assured families of the residents that their relatives will be “safe, well cared for and treated with respect.”
Lothian and Borders police, who had previously received complaints about an alleged incident on Christmas Eve involving a 72-year-old woman, have confirmed that they are probing further into the allegations at the care home.
A police spokesman said: “Lothian and Borders Police are conducting an investigation into the provision of care services at a facility in Tweedbank. Enquiries are at an early stage.”
Elaine Torrance, head of social care and health at Scottish Borders Council, said: “The council takes all concerns raised seriously and is doing all it can to ensure residents are safeguarded and will robustly investigate all reports of mistreatment.
“The social work department has been working closely with Eildon and other partners and additional measures have been put in place to ensure all residents in Craw Wood are safe, well cared for and treated with respect.
“To this end, staffing levels have been increased and the council is providing additional staffing and management support to assist and support the service. Reviews of all residents by social work staff are also being undertaken which will fully involve relatives.
“We realise that this is a difficult time for families and the council will continue to closely monitor the situation. Relatives can discuss any specific issues relating to their family member by ringing 01896 755365.”
Eildon, who were contracted by the council to manage and run the care home, have insisted on the importance of the residents’ well being and are complying fully with the police investigation.
Chief executive Neil Istephan (corr) said: “We are working closely with SBC, NHS Borders and the Care Inspectorate following reports of recent incidents at Craw Wood.
“As a result, five members of staff have been suspended whilst investigations are concluded. We are also liaising with Lothian and borders Police as part of these investigations.
“The care and welfare of the 25 residents is of paramount importance. Whilst investigations are ongoing, SBC and NHS Borders are working closely with us to ensure a full complement of trained staff is available to support residents.
Eildon will also “address in full” a report released by the Care Inspectorate this week that rated the quality of care and support and the quality of staffing at the Craw Wood care home as “weak” following an impromptu visit last November.