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Care home closed amid abuse claims

A care home has been closed down and its residents rehoused amid concerns about alleged neglect and abuse.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) watchdog made an urgent application to magistrates to immediately cancel the registration of the home this week.

The owners of Sea View Lodge in Herne Bay, Kent, are now no longer able to offer care services for adults with learning disabilities.

Kent County Council (KCC) managed to find alternative placements for its eight residents, aged between 25 and 80.

The local authority suspended new placements to Sea View Lodge last month because of issues surrounding "adult protection and poor practice".

But the owner of the family-run care home, Shahid Sheikh, strenuously denied the allegations, saying he believed they had been made against him personally by a disgruntled ex-employee.

Mr Sheikh, 61, who has run the home for the past 12 years, said some residents were left in tears as they were asked to move elsewhere.

He said: "The allegations, I believe, involve me personally. It has been stated that I acted aggressively or something but I don't want to go into too many details.

"The allegations come from someone who used to work there and left. They are ridiculous claims. I'm devastated because we put in a lot of work and we treated the residents as family."

The CQC had no comment. But Margaret Howard, director of operations for learning disability at KCC, said: "KCC staff worked closely with the CQC and were able to move residents to alternative accommodation and keep friendship groups together. We will continue to work with them and their families to support them and ensure we find them appropriate, permanent accommodation for the future."

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