Suspended Penzance carer home workers are cleared of abuse by inquiry
Ten carers suspended over allegations of abuse at a day centre for vulnerable adults in Cornwall are to return to work after being cleared by an internal investigation.
The Western Morning News revealed last November that more than a dozen staff at the John Daniel Centre in Penzance, which is used by about 85 people with learning disabilities, had been suspended following complaints from a whistleblower.
Five have been the subject of a police investigation and remain on bail. However, Cornwall Council has now confirmed that ten staff members at the centre have been cleared by a disciplinary inquiry.
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"The ten members of staff who were suspended by Cornwall Council last November following concerns raised over practices at the John Daniel Centre, a day service for people with a learning disability in Penzance, are returning to work following the conclusion of the management investigation carried out by the council," a spokesman said.
"In all ten cases the investigator found insufficient evidence to substantiate the allegations, and has, therefore, recommended that no further disciplinary action should be taken.
"The council's management team fully support and accept these recommendations."
He added: "Five members of staff remain suspended at this stage. The police investigation is continuing, which we continue to support through the multi-agency safeguarding process."
Parents and carers of adults who use the centre were informed of the move in a newsletter earlier this month. The council has refused to give details of the allegations.
Reg Broad, chairman of East Cornwall Mencap, said the news had come "out of the blue". "I am surprised this decision has been taken before the serious case review has reported," said Mr Broad, from St Austell.
"Parents and carers had total confidence in the process to start off with, but I am concerned now."
In April, three men and two women were questioned by detectives investigating allegations about standards of care at the centre.
The five, a 21-year-old man from St Ives, a 58-year-old man from Penzance, a 22-year-old woman from Helston and a man and woman both aged 57 from Hayle, answered bail in September. They were all re-bailed until December while detectives make further inquiries and a decision on possible charges is made by the Crown Prosecution Service.