A care home in Ellesmere Port looking after people with learning and physical disabilities which suddenly closed is to re-open by next March, the borough council has revealed.
Dover Drive Care Home, run by Vivo Care Choices Ltd, shut on a temporary basis earlier this year after an audio recording by a patient’s relative raised ‘concerns’.
Officials said it would remain closed until they could be sure it was ‘safe’ with a full investigation prompted by the recording under way.
Vivo Care Choices is a not-for-profit company owned and regulated by Cheshire West and Chester Council with Dover Drive one of its eight services providing short stay accommodation for adults with learning and physical disabilities.
A joint statement at the time from the borough council and Vivo Care Choices read: “We are aware that some audio recording by a family member took place recently at Dover Drive Care Home in Ellesmere Port.
“Following these concerns being raised the file is urgently being reviewed by Vivo Care Choices Ltd and a full investigation into this matter is under way.
“The safety of adults in care services is our absolute priority and I would like to reassure residents, families and partners that we have taken immediate and decisive action.
“As a precautionary measure the unit has been temporarily closed until we can be fully assured that the service is safe.”
The revelation came to light after a father whose daughter used the service contacted The Pioneer over its closure.
He said the respite centre was incredibly valuable for parents for whom caring for their disabled children was a ‘full-time job’.
Cabinet member for adult social care Cllr Paul Dolan (Lab) has now said: “Cheshire West and Chester Council has worked with families and carers to look at all available options for respite.
“We have now agreed with Vivo to open respite services in the Dover Drive building by March 1, 2018 with a new offer and a clearer focus on the needs of families and service users.
“We will be involving families and carers in delivering the new service and in continuing to develop other options for respite and short breaks.”
Dover Drive was inspected by the Care Quality Commission watchdog in April this year when it was given a ‘Good’ rating overall.
A spokesman for Cheshire police said following the closure the force was aware of allegations that had been made in relation to the home but there was no criminal investigation at that time.