MP Ed Miliband to raise eviction of elderly care home residents with council

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MP Ed Miliband has intervened after Doncaster Council evicted elderly residents from a borough care home on safety grounds.

The former Labour leader and Doncaster North MP met with staff members formally employed by Warneford House care home.

Staff lost their jobs after residents were moved out last month on the orders of council staff. 

Union bosses hit out at the council for closing the home ‘without little warning or explanation’.

But the council hit back and said they ‘had to act quickly’ and described the home as ‘unsafe’ with no manager in charge. 

It was also said the home had a ‘lack of food’ and concerns were raised about ‘medication and low staffing levels’. 

The GMB union is currently seeking to recover wages, notice and redundancy for their 32 members dismissed as a result of the authority's actions at the home.

Mr Miliband said 'he was so sorry’ for what the residents, staff and relatives had gone through and added he would ‘write to the council to convey what had been raised with him'. 

Rachel Dix, GMB organiser, said: “We want answers, we want accountability and we want an apology. But most of all, we want reassurances that there will be no further systematic failures that result in our elderly and vulnerable being treated in this way.

"We have a responsibility as a society to value and respect all reliant on social care and ensure they get the best, including the committed care staff who in this instance have been cast aside and their experience and compassion lost to the sector forever."

Karen Johnson, assistant director of adult social care and safeguarding, said: “ We simply could not leave the residents in this home overnight. It was not safe and they were seriously at risk. So we stepped in to ensure older and vulnerable people in this home were safe and cared for.

The home was seriously understaffed and no one was in charge. Even though the operational manager offered to step in, there was no clear plan about how they were going to make things safe and we could not risk leaving people there. 

“We had severe concerns about medication, a not fit for purpose environment within the home and lack of supervision and sadly not enough food on site. So given these concerns, which we first raised in January, we had to act. Paperwork is not at the root of our concerns, although not adequate, it was the safety and well being of these residents so we had to act and quickly.”

“We monitored the home with a range of experts and together we agreed that residents were not in a safe place so we arranged for them to find homes that would care for them in a way we thought they deserved to be. No one was thrown into the street.”