Page last updated at 10:07 GMT, Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Watchdog forces care home closure

A Leicestershire care home has been closed by the social care watchdog amid fears of ill-treatment and neglect, it has been revealed.

The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) obtained an urgent court order to close Acorn Lodge Residential Home in Market Harborough.

A police investigation is under way into allegations of ill-treatment.

Two women, aged 40 and 25, have been arrested and released on police bail pending further inquiries.

All 12 residents at the home were moved to alternative accommodation by Leicestershire County Council.

The commission takes such action only when it considers people to be at serious risk
Norwyn Cole, CSCI

CSCI's eastern region director, Norwyn Cole, said there were fears of a serious risk to the safety and welfare of residents at Acorn Lodge.

He said: "We carried out a scheduled inspection of Acorn Lodge at the beginning of September and found shortcomings in the standards of care.

"Following information we received about matters that are now under investigation by the police, another inspection was carried out in early November.

"Inspectors found that standards had deteriorated further, and they had serious concerns about the threat this posed to the safety and welfare of the residents.

'Serious risk'

Mr Cole added: "Our inspectors subsequently visited the home frequently to monitor the situation but it became clear that the quality of care was not improving.

"The commission takes such action only when it considers people to be at serious risk. The decision is never taken lightly. We know all too well the impact that the closure of a home can have on the people who live there, their families and their carers, as well as members of the staff."

Leicestershire Police said investigations into alleged ill-treatment and wilful neglect are continuing.

The home has the right of appeal to the independent Care Standards Tribunal but cannot legally remain open until an appeal outcome.

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An investigation is underway at the Acorn Lodge Residential Home, Market Harborough



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