To North Road Community Partnership this evening (eventually, after a mix-up over venues).
During a good, wide-ranging discussion, one of the members made a series of serious allegations regarding the operation of a care home in the area (I'm not going to name it here at this stage). The concerns were based on the experience of a staff member at the home.
As I promised I would do, when I came back I checked out the regulatory structure now for care homes - since 2004, this has rested with the Commission for Social Care Inspection. I have emailed them this evening with a list of the concerns.
Dealing with accusations is never easy - in this case the information I passed on was third-hand. At the end of the day, however, allegations of abuse have to be checked out, and I have given the CSCI the contact details which should help them talk to the staff member concerned. The alternative, as has been painfully apparent in the news from Maidstone today, is in effect to collude with the systematic neglect of very vulnerable people.
My complaint has been acknowledged by the CSCI, and a named Regulation Inspector assigned to the case. I'll keep you all posted on developments.