Probe as care firm goes under

Briar Court Hutton Avenue.
Briar Court Hutton Avenue.
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A CARE provider in charge of a Hartlepool nursing home at the centre of a safeguarding investigation has gone into administration.

Hartlepool Borough Council confirmed it is investigating allegations involving an altercation between two residents at Briar Court Nursing Home, in Hutton Avenue.

That comes as administrators were called in to Castlebeck Care, the company that runs the town nursing home and 19 others across England and Scotland.

Administrators Grant Thornton say the process will not be rushed and that the welfare of the 214 residents at all of the nursing homes is the priority. Castlebeck cares for adults with learning difficulties and mental health problems.

While the future of the care homes remain uncertain, Hartlepool Borough Council will continue to investigate safeguarding concerns at Briar Court.

A spokesman said: “The investigation by our Adult Safeguarding Unit into the allegations concerning Briar Court, in Hutton Avenue, Hartlepool, is on-going but the indications are that this is an issue that involves an altercation between two residents.

“However, until all witnesses have been interviewed it would be inappropriate to comment further.

“We do not contract with Castlebeck Care, but we are required to respond to all safeguarding concerns arising within the borough.

“Castlebeck Care is being co-operative and will be asked to develop a robust protection plan as part of the safeguarding process.”

The firm, which was formed 25 years ago, operates another eight care homes across the region.

A Grant Thornton spokesman said: “Interest is being shown in the units, but it will be business as usual and a continued drive to ensure that the standards are not only maintained but improved.

“Everybody is clear that this is going to be a careful process and families will be kept closely informed of any developments.

“The administration process has now started and we will be working closely with the Castlebeck management team who were aware that going into administration was the most sensible decision.

“The priority is to ensure that minimal disruption is caused to the very, very fragile service users and it should be a smooth process.”