THREE women have been arrested as police investigate claims of neglect at a care home in Hayling Island.
Police say the women, aged 55, 31 and 25, all from Hampshire, were arrested during an investigation into concerns for the welfare of a resident at the Pear Tree Lodge care home in Beech Grove.
They were held and questioned by officers on suspicion of wilful neglect and conspiracy to make false reports.
All women have been bailed until February 27, 2013, pending further enquiries.
Police would not divulge if the women arrested were members of staff.
The Care Quality Commission, which regulates, inspects and reviews all adult social care services in England, said the care home met all the required standards following a routine inspection in April this year.
It comes after a report published by Hampshire Safeguarding Adults Board showed cases of abuse in all care situations rose from 2,029 in 2010/11 to 2,145 a year later. It said the increase was partly due to improved recording.
The news of the arrests was met with shock by sections of the Hayling Island community.
Cllr Leah Turner, who represents Hayling East on Havant Borough Council, said: ‘I wasn’t aware of this and I am very surprised to hear this.
‘I will await with interest the results of the investigation.
‘I have heard nothing against Pear Tree Lodge, I’ve only heard good things about it.’
Tony Worrall, chairman of the Hayling Island Community Network, said: ‘I think it is a surprise. There are quite a lot of homes on Hayling Island and we have got quite a large number of elderly residents that retire down here.
‘It’s a major concern for the majority of residents on the island. You read about it in the national papers but you don’t think of it happening in Hayling Island.’
Cllr David Collins, who also represents Hayling East, said: ‘I am flabbergasted. I have said all along there needs to be local control. I know the county council has larger staff but local control is that much closer.’
Anyone with information can contact the vulnerable adult investigation team at Havant police station by phoning 101. Information can be given anonymously by phoning the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555111.