Abbeymoor care home abuse claim sparks fury

A CARE home for the disabled at the centre of abuse claims has been backed by residents’ loved ones.

On Monday the Chronicle revealed social services and the Care Quality Commission launched an investigation into allegations of mistreatment of residents at Abbeymoor care home in Swalwell, Gateshead.

The probe comes after approaches to social services claiming bullying and mental abuse at the home, which cares for people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s.

But since then a number of family members have come forward to back the home.

Christine Green, who has four family members, all who suffer from Huntington’s Disease, said she was shocked.

The 48-year-old, from Lean Lane, Gateshead, said: “I don’t believe the claims at all. I’ve never seen any of these problems while I’ve been there. The standard of care has been first class. The carers are all fantastic with the patients and as you can imagine these claims have upset all of the staff.”

Jacqueline Fitzsimmons, whose son Michael Cunningham is there also spoke out.

The 51-year-old, of North Shields, added: “I think these allegations are a load of rubbish.

“The carers are brilliant and I’ve never witnessed any bullying going on.”

The two-storey home, just off the A1 near the Metrocentre, provides care for up to 40 residents with physical or mental disability between the ages of 18 and 65.

Several incidents have been reported to adult services, including one alleged episode when a wheelchair-bound elderly man who suffers from dementia was made to face a wall for several hours as a punishment because he watched television without permission.

In another alleged incident, a carer was seen shouting and swearing at another resident.

Louise Rule, head of sport, well-being and independence at Gateshead Council, said: “As soon as we were made aware of allegations at Abbeymoor care home we immediately began an investigation.

“That investigation is ongoing and we hope to have it concluded as soon as possible.”

A spokesman for Four Seasons Health Care, which runs the home, said: “We are co-operating fully with the safeguarding team in investigating allegations that were made to them.

“We cannot comment on those allegations until the investigation has been completed. At this time the allegations have not been substantiated or refuted.

“The safety and well-being of our residents is priority, and we take any allegation of inappropriate conduct most seriously. We have in place an internal whistle-blowing policy that protects the whistle-blower.

“No allegations were reported through this channel. We cannot discuss individual cases.”

A spokesman for the CQC said: “We are aware of the allegations that have been made and will be conducting our own investigation.”