AN investigation has been launched after an under-fire care home was reported to national inspectors.

The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) has confirmed that it has received an unspecified complaint about North Park Care Centre in Darlington.

It is the latest problem to hit the care home, which sacked three members of staff in February following an inquiry into claims of abuse.

Last night, a spokeswoman for Barchester Heathcare, which owns the home, said: "We can confirm that an anonymous complaint has been made and, as with all complaints, this will be taken very seriously.

"In the interests of ensuring the well-being of all our residents, a thorough investigation will be undertaken and any appropriate action will be taken if necessary.

"North Park Care Centre is continuing to go from strength to strength thanks to the unstinting first class quality care offered to its residents by a highly professional and dedicated team."

A spokeswoman for the CSCI said: "We have received a complaint. This has been referred back to the home to deal with under their complaints procedure.

"The home will feedback to the CSCI the results of their investigation. If the CSCI is not satisfied with the outcome, it will conduct its own investigation."

In February, police and social services officials launched a joint inquiry after the CSCI voiced concerns about the care of residents at the home.

As in this new case, in November 2004, the CSCI received a series of anonymous complaints about the home.

Officers completed an inspection and alerted police to several issues.

Specialist officers were called in to investigate and one formal complaint - that an elderly man was physically abused at the home - was reported. No criminal charges were to be brought in connection with the allegation.

Yesterday, a spokesman for Durham Police said: "Whatever the reasons the inspectors are currently working at the home, it has nothing to do with us."

A spokesman for Darlington Borough Council said: "There is an investigation ongoing and we can't comment any further."