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'Whistle-blower' claims he was sacked after exposing safety concerns at Hounslow care home

A senior carer at Clifton Gardens Resource Centre has lodged an unfair dismissal claim, but Hounslow Council says the matter is just a personal grievance

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Clifton Gardens Resource Centre, in Chiswick

A former care home worker claims he was sacked after blowing the whistle over the safety of vulnerable residents in Hounslow.

Waseem Malik was a senior carer at Clifton Gardens Resource Centre, in Chiswick, until his dismissal in July 2015.

He says he was sacked after exposing a culture of bullying and harassment towards staff, and insufficient safety measures for the elderly occupants of the care home.

A report by the Care Quality Commission last spring found the home to be 'inadequate', with the regulator awarding it the lowest grade for both leadership and safety.

Mr Malik has lodged an unfair dismissal claim against Hounslow Council , which runs the centre, and a hearing is scheduled for this May at the Central London Employment Tribunal.

'Incidents of alleged rape and violence'

The council has dismissed his claims in paperwork submitted ahead of the hearing, insisting it investigated his complaints but he failed to cooperate and refused offers to help him to return to work from long-term sick leave.

Mr Malik began working at the care centre in July 2013 and made a whistle-blowing complaint in July the following year about what Cameron Clarke Lawyers, representing him, describe in the unfair dismissal claim as "widespread and persistent bullying and harassment" of staff by their managers.

He said managers would "shout at employees (and) taunt and threaten them with the loss of their jobs if they did not follow instructions", the papers state.

The claim also says that he raised concerns about malpractice and failures when it came to the care provided to residents and their health and safety - including allegations of rape and violence.

"There was a range of failures and short-coming in the quality of care provided and safety of residents," his claim states.

"For example, incidents of alleged rape and violence on residents, which the home manager (name removed) instructed an employee to keep quiet about in respect of police enquiries."

Mr Malik says he began long-term sick leave on August 2014 as a result of the "sustained bullying and harassment" he experienced.

He did not return to work after that date and was eventually sacked on the grounds of long-term absence.

The council states in its response to the claim that it took "fair" steps to enable Mr Malik's return to work, including offering him counselling and a reduction in hours.

'Not a genuine case of whistle-blowing'

It claims his complaint was not a genuine case of whistle-blowing, made in the public interest, but a personal grievance.

It states that the allegations about bullying and unacceptable staffing levels were investigated under the council's whistle-blowing procedure.

But that investigation was closed, according to the document, after he failed to attend meetings or respond to requests for specific examples of bullying and harassment.

CQC inspectors stated in March 2015 that there were not always enough staff at Clifton Gardens, which has just over 40 residents, to meet people's care needs appropriately and safely.

They said employees lacked the necessary training and support, and the quality of care provided was not adequately monitored.

A council spokesperson said it would not be appropriate to comment on the case ahead of the tribunal hearing.

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