SIX people have been arrested on suspicion of committing offences under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Mental Health Act 1983.
The alleged offences relate to the mistreatment and neglect of residents at a care home in Slyne.
Two men, aged 34 and 26, and four women, aged 26, 27, 53 and 59, were arrested this morning (October 10) at separate addresses in the Lancaster and Morecambe area.
The arrests are the culmination of a five month investigation by Lancashire Constabulary’s Force Major Investigation Team (FMIT) into the alleged mistreatment and neglect of residents at the home.
The nursing home is part of the Hillcroft Group and is based in Slyne-with-Hest.
The mistreatment has allegedly taken place within the Challenging Behaviour Unit which cares for vulnerable adults with advanced Alzheimer’s.
The investigation began at the end of May after Lancashire County Council Adult Services Social Care department made the police aware of a complaint they had received about the level of care provided to some residents at the Hillcroft nursing home in Slyne-with –Hest.
The allegations of mistreatment and neglect date back to December 2010 with the most recent being reported in February 2012.
The offences under investigation are within the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (neglect and ill treatment) and due to the complexity of the case the investigation team has been working with the Crown Prosecution Service’s Complex Case Unit.
Chief Supt Richard Bayly, Divisional Commander at Northern Division, said: “These arrests are a culmination of a thorough investigation into serious allegations of mistreatment of residents at Hillcroft Slyne nursing home. The enquiry is complicated and we have a team of specialist detectives working on this case who are also offering support to those families who may have had loved ones identified as being allegedly mistreated.
“Our priority from the outset has been to ensure the safety of patients within the Slyne home and the Constabulary has been working closely with Lancashire County Council’s Adult Services Department and NHS North Lancashire to ensure that any safeguarding issues were addressed immediately.”
A multi-agency significant incident learning review has been established to look at all aspects of the enquiry.
The agencies involved will take part in this review to ensure that any lessons learnt will be fully explored and actioned where appropriate.
The review, which runs alongside the investigation and any subsequent judicial proceedings, has already started and aims to ensure better protection for vulnerable adults in residential care.
The six people arrested will be interviewed throughout the day.