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CARE HOME STAFF IN 'ABUSE CLAIMS' ROW; Tribunal told how arrival of new boss led to 15 leaving their jobs.


FORMER care home workers claim they were forced out of their jobs when abuse allegations were reported to the authorities.

The Dales, in West Kirby, was at the centre of a major probe into the reported mistreatment of elderly residents last autumn.

Now 15 former members of staff have taken to their ex-employer to a tribunal, claiming they were treated unfairly and forced to quit.

They were accused of mistreating pensioners before an investigation which came to nothing, the hearing in Liverpool was told yesterday.

The staff all left their jobs within four days of new owner Kate Armstrong- Shone buying the Marine Park premises on October 26 last year.

At least three employees walked out claiming Ms Armstrong-Shone immediately introduced a new management team and ordered staff to work new shifts, the tribunal heard.

It was told she also started refurbishments, ordered managers to clear out their office and told them they would now do more hands-on care.

The rest of the staff, who have yet to give evidence, will claim they were confronted about the abuse allegations in a meeting and immediately fired.

But Ms Armstrong-Shone will say all 15 staff left in a mass walkout, three in the morning and 12 in the afternoon of October 30, her company's solicitor told the tribunal.

Former manager Leann Chrisp said the atmosphere in the home changed when Ms Armstrong-Shone arrived and she was made to "feel like dirt".

Her new boss planned to slash her managerial work and did not include her in discussions about the home's future, she said.

Miss Chrisp said Ms Armstrong-Shone told her to clean her office and ordered her to replace staff's fixed shifts with new12-hour flexible ones.

She said she was told: "If staff don't like it, they can leave."

Miss Chrisp said police were called to The Dales following reports of disorder outside shortly after the 15 staff left, but she was not involved.

She said she was abused after she walked out by one of Ms Armstrong- Shone's team, who swore at her and accused her of not caring about the residents.

Stephen Nettle, representing The Dales, reminded Miss Chrisp of contracts which said staff must work flexible hours and said she failed to give her new boss a chance.



ROW: The Dales care home in West Kirby where 15 staff left after a new boss took over
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 5, 2008
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