Care home residents were left at risk after management failed to investigate an abuse claim, a watchdog has found.

Residents at Tall Trees Care Centre in Shipton-under-Wychwood were “at risk of potential further abuse”, the Care Quality Commission reported.

Inspectors said: “Staff told us and records confirmed that an abuser was allowed to work in spite of the incident having been reported by a whistleblower.”

The CQC said the inspection in May was partly prompted by concerns received about management of an abuse incident.

“Staff told us and records confirmed that the alleged abuser continued to work the remainder of their shift despite the incident being reported. The alleged abuser worked on a further two occasions following the allegation being reported.

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“Management were aware of these allegations. This put people at risk of potential further abuse without management taking appropriate action to safely investigate the allegations.”

The report said responsibilities were not clear such as what actions management should take on being made aware of allegations of abuse. For example, when to instigate immediate suspension.

The home was given an overall rating of "inadequate" and issued a warning notice.

A spokesperson for Oxfordshire County Council said: “The county council shares the CQCs concerns about this care home in Chipping Norton and will be working closely with the Commission and the home to ensure that the improvements that are required are acknowledged and tackled with urgency.

“Both the county council and the CQC will be monitoring the home at very regular intervals. The council has been supporting the home to improve within its standards of care framework and will continue to work with CQC and health colleagues to ensure that the necessary improvements are made.”

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Inspectors found no evidence that the 29 residents had been harmed.

A spokesperson for provider Caring Homes Healthcare Group said: “The health and wellbeing of our residents is our absolute priority. We are immensely disappointed by this report, which we do not believe provides a fair reflection of the care being provided at Tall Trees. Nevertheless, we would like to apologise to our relatives and residents for any concern or distress the report may have caused.

“We have raised our concerns with the CQC as there are many aspects of the report which we believe are factually inaccurate. We do not tolerate abuse and as soon as we were made aware of the allegation we suspended the individual and terminated their employment after an investigation.

“We put in place a detailed action plan in May to ensure we addressed the areas where improvements were needed.”