AN investigation is under way into the alleged assault of an elderly resident at a North-East care home.

A member of staff at the Redworth House care home, in Shildon, County Durham, has been suspended while Durham Police investigate the allegation.

Neither the staff member or the resident have been identified.

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A spokeswoman from Durham Police said: “The inquiry is in its very early stages and no one has been arrested.”

It is not known when the alleged assault occurred.

The care home is in Byerley Road and provides nursing and residential care for elderly dementia sufferers and people with learning difficulties. It is owned by the Southern Cross Healthcare Group.

Joanne Elliott, the organisation’s area manager, said: “Southern Cross can confirm that there is a police investigation regarding our Redworth House care home in Shildon.

“We are co-operating fully with Durham Police in their inquiries and we are not able to make any further comment until the investigation is complete.”

Lesley Jeavons, head of adult care at Durham County Council, said: “We are aware of the situation and are working with the police in accordance with multiagency safeguarding procedures.”

The purpose-built care home has 57 bedrooms, all with their own en-suite bathrooms, and a self-contained day centre which operates on weekdays.

On its website, the home describes its specialist care categories as Alzheimers’ disease, autism, autistic spectrum disorders, Downs’ syndrome and speech impairment.

In November 2008, the Care Quality Commission gave the home a two-star “good” rating, on a scale where zero is rated as poor and three stars is excellent.

A report from the inspection praised the facility for its warm and friendly atmosphere, and stated that staff treated the residents with kindness and respect.

The registered care home also includes a separate unit which offers permanent and respite places for six younger adults with learning disabilities.