Inquiry launched over abuse claims at Wolverhampton home

An investigation has been launched into safeguarding at a care home, which helps people with mental health, drugs and alcohol problems.

Fernbank Care in the Community, which is run privately in Wolverhampton, is the subject of a new investigation by Wolverhampton City Council and West Midlands Police.

The authority is leading the investigation into allegations about the Larches Lane facility in Chapel Ash despite no longer referring people there, as it now uses Midland Heart.

Alan Pugh, manager of adult team west for the authority, is looking into claims of abuse of residents at Fernbank.

Findings of the investigation are not expected to be made public until the New Year.

Rob Willoughby, the authority’s assistant director for safeguarding, business support and communities, said: “Wolverhampton City Council can confirm that it is carrying out a safeguarding investigation into a number of concerns involving Fernbank Care in the Community.

“The investigation, which also involves West Midlands Police, is currently ongoing and is focused on the welfare of the service users.

“Fernbank Care in the Community provides supported accommodation for single people aged 18 or over who have mental health issues or alcohol or drug problems.

“Wolverhampton City Council does not currently refer service users to Fernbank following the re-provision of placements to Midland Heart as a result of a retendering process earlier this year. Other agencies in the city may continue to use Fernbank.”

Mr Pugh added: “I am co-ordinating the safeguarding investigations in respect of Fernbank. My main focus is the welfare of the residents.

“We will be investigating allegations of abuse against people resident at Fernbank. The efficient management of Fernbank, in order to provide a decent standard of care for its residents, should be the objective of all concerned.”

Fernbank was unavailable for comment.