By Vicki Mathias, Health Correspondent
STAFF from a disgraced care home will be covering shifts at another city site.
Employees from Winterbourne View, which was hit by allegations of abuse, will be helping out at Rose Villa in Brislington, also the focus of investigations.
A meeting of the Bristol City Council’s health and adult social care scrutiny commission heard that staff who had not been suspended from the care home near Hambrook, which recently closed its doors, will help provide cover at the Brislington site also owned by private operator Castlebeck.
The Care Quality Commission investigated Rose Villa earlier this month in the wake of the allegations of abuse at Winterbourne View. Inspectors found some issues that were raised with management and subsequently four members of staff were suspended.
Councillors heard that allegations made were about the culture at the home rather than physical abuse. A police investigation into Rose Villa has concluded and no further action will be taken.
The meeting was told that Castlebeck has arranged for an independent investigation of the allegations, by a learning disabilities nurse.
Alison Comley, of the council’s health and social care directorate, said that since Winterbourne View was shut there had been discussions about staff who had not been suspended or subject to allegations being on a rota for cover at Rose Villa.
She said: “Castlebeck has responsibility as an employer and cannot dispose of these staff.”Rose Villa is a nine-bed residential home for people with learning disabilities. It is described as a “bridging unit” for people coming from a formal care environment.
Ms Comley said: “The safeguarding team has not had any dealings with Rose Villa, there have been no concerns expressed to us in the past.
“Following the Panorama programme on Winterbourne View the management team received contact from a whistleblower and the manager was suspended pending an investigation. The safeguarding team was involved at that point, along with colleagues in health and the police. We are talking to advocates and residents to ensure that people had an opportunity to express any worries or concerns about Rose Villa.”
Castlebeck released a statement last night, which said: “As Winterbourne View is now closed, more than 25 members of staff are currently being considered for redundancy. Under employment law they are entitled to apply for positions within the company which are vacant.
“None of these members of staff has had any allegations made against them at Winterbourne View. A number may indeed apply for positions at our other services, or may work in them on an interim basis in the meantime.
“They all have a right to be considered for further employment within our business and we will, in accordance with our own policies, ensure that anyone moving to work in another service will do so in a way which follows all correct employment procedures and which also involves service user engagement in the recruitment process.”