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Staff at Iceni House care home in Swaffham alleged to have woken up residents with loud radio music

Staff at a Swaffham care home are alleged to have forced residents out of bed by playing loud music in the early hours of the morning.

The Guardian newspaper has published a report quoting two whistleblowers from the Iceni House care home. The duo, both former staff members at the facility, have made a number of claims.

Thomas Ryan, who was previously a night manager, has said that he found a female resident “screaming” and “lashing out” after being forced out of bed by staff at around 6am in October.

The Swaffham care home has been criticised by two whistleblowers. Picture: iStock
The Swaffham care home has been criticised by two whistleblowers. Picture: iStock

Norfolk County Council is now set to carry out a visit to the home in order to ensure it is following “proper processes”.

In the Guardian article, Mr Ryan also alleged that day staff play the radio through Alexa speakers in corridors to to wake residents, prescriptions for some medicines – including anti-psychotics – were left uncollected for two weeks, and incontinence pads were locked in cupboards during the night, leaving residents “unclean”.

The Lynn News contacted Iceni House for comment, but registered manager Peter Dean declined to respond.

However, he has invited us to visit the care home ourselves to “form our own opinion” on how it is run.

It is owned by Syed Anjum Hussain, a businessman based in Hertfordshire, and is rated as “requires improvement” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Clare Miller, a senior care assistant, joined Mr Ryan in speaking to The Guardian about the Swaffham care home. She described the alleged issues as “organisational abuse”.

An email from Mr Ryan to the care home operator in August is reported to have said: “The attitude regarding getting people up in the morning is disgusting.

“It is not a farm. We will not force people out of bed … It is the residents’ choice not the staff’s. This is abuse and the home is allowing it to happen, despite me telling you.”

The two whistleblowers said that after problems persisted despite their complaints, they quit.

A Norfolk County Council spokesperson told the Lynn News: “We would always encourage staff in care homes to raise any concerns with the management, as well as with ourselves and the CQC, so that we can explore if any action or improvements are needed.

“We have been in touch with Iceni House to seek assurances in relation to the care and support provided. The manager is keen to work with us and has been responsive to all requests for information.

“The home has referred itself to our safeguarding teams to ensure that it is following the correct processes.

“We will also be carrying out a quality monitoring visit to ensure that the proper processes and procedures are being followed.”

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