CONCERNS have been raised over the ‘safeguarding’ procedures at a large care home in Buckshaw Village, after a number of staff were suspended.

The Lodge, which provides care for 64 elderly residents at Buckshaw Retirement Village, failed to meet two basic standards during a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The regulator said residents were not always safeguarded because the home ‘did not consistently respond appropriately to allegations of abuse’.

Although the allegations were not detailed in the report, the inspectors said ‘members of staff involved had been suspended from duty, pending an inquiry’.

The report added: “It was clear that safeguarding protocols had not been followed correctly, in line with national and local safeguarding arrangements.

“A number of safeguarding concerns had previously been raised by staff members. However, these were not reported through the correct channels to the local authority, the police and the Care Quality Commission, for a considerable length of time.

“The records of one member of staff showed he had previously been implicated in safeguarding issues, whilst working at The Lodge.

“The home had initially commenced their own investigation, which is against national and local policies and were therefore advised to put this on hold until a decision was made about how to progress.”

Shortcomings were also identified around the home’s assessment and monitoring of service quality. However, the four other essential standards examined by the inspectors were met, and the report included many positive comments.

Heidi Shepherd, operations manager for the Hica Group, which runs the home, said: “We have a very positive reputation in the local area and it’s important to note the issues that arose were mainly around the administrative processes.”

She said the firm was now ‘closely liaising’ with the CQC to address the issues, but when asked why staff had been suspended she declined to comment, citing confidentiality reasons.