Discovery care workers dismissed over safeguarding concerns

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Somerset County Council is carrying out an investigation after safeguarding concerns were raised by a whistleblower in May

A care provider has dismissed five members of staff after carrying out an investigation into safeguarding concerns at one of its properties.

Discovery suspended all 20 members of staff at the supported living accommodation in May and a quarter of those have now left the company.

It found safeguarding incidents relating to five of six residents at the home, which the BBC is not naming.

Somerset County Council is currently carrying out its own investigation.

Discovery provides learning disability services for adults in Somerset and suspended the staff when a whistleblower reported concerns in May.

The investigation, led by its parent company Dimensions, found some of the safeguarding concerns related to incidents as far back as 2007.

A Discovery spokesperson said no "malicious behaviour" was found but the incidents "reflected embedded practices in that particular location, which fall well below our expectations".

"Each family is fully aware of any incident reported in respect of their relative and we have maintained regular informal telephone contact with families throughout.

"We have communicated formally with all families to outline any outcomes of the investigation that affected their loved one."

Changes made

Discovery say they are unable to provide further information on the nature of the safeguarding incidents as its HR process is still ongoing.

The group added that of the other 15 employees who were suspended, some have moved on, but the investigation found many had no case to answer. Discovery referred some of the incidents to police, but they decided not to pursue it.

Discovery stated a new manager and a "fully trained" new team was now in place and the people it supports are "safe and well".

Somerset County Council said it couldn't comment on the incidents as the matter is currently under investigation by its safeguarding team.

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