NEWS HR

Andrew Noble is to retire from his position as chief executive of Melville Housing Association, following a quarter of a century’s stellar service to the social housing sector. Mr Noble will step down from the role that he’s held since 2005, later this year.

A care home manager who behaved in an “aggressive and uncompromising way” to staff and residents has been struck off after a misconduct panel hearing. Concerns were raised in January 2019 about Debra Lewis, who had managed a Cardiff home for adults with dementia. A remote hearing was told Ms Lewis told staff to cut residents’ food portions. The misconduct panel found she had “breached the fundamental tenets of social care” and removed her from the register. Ms Lewis was accused of bullying staff, with witnesses saying she upset workers by being rude and aggressive. The hearing was told Ms Lewis, who worked for Ty Draw Wentworth Lodge Ltd, shouted at a resident that she would get her removed from the home. Another time, it heard, she behaved inappropriately and aggressively towards a resident who didn’t want to use a stairlift. And, the hearing was told, she told staff not to give residents biscuits with tea and to stop putting fruit in the dining room. A panel decided Ms Lewis’s fitness to practise was impaired because of serious misconduct. It said: “We have found that Ms Lewis behaved in an aggressive and uncompromising way to staff and residents, and that she presided over an unhealthy culture within the home. “We have concluded that Ms Lewis breached the fundamental tenets of social care by failing to model caring behaviour to her staff and by treating the home’s residents in a way which on occasions upset them or failed to respect their dignity.” It decided a removal order was “necessary, appropriate and proportionate”. “Ms Lewis demonstrated long-standing and deep-seated attitudinal defects which resulted in harm to residents,” it said. Ms Lewis did not attend the one-day hearing, which was held last week.

A healthcare assistant who admitted raping a 73-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s in an Irish nursing home has been given an 11-year sentence. The victim was attacked in her room in the early hours of 3 April, during the height of the Covid-19 lockdown. She was found in a distressed state later that morning by a staff member. Emmanuel Adeniji, of Royal Canal Court, Kilcock in County Kildare, had denied rape but later pleaded guilty after his DNA matched a sample from the victim. The 52-year-old worked in healthcare for 15 years before the attack and he had no previous convictions. The judge at Dublin’s Central Criminal Court described the rape as “an egregious breach of trust by a qualified and experienced healthcare worker”.

Former Trafford Council leader Sean Anstee has been appointed as group chair of the not-for-profit Trafford housing association, part of residential developer L&Q Group, and will take over from Edna Robinson in October. Anstee, who has been a non-executive director of Trafford Housing Trust since April 2014, will replace Robinson, who is stepping down at the end of September having completed her term of office. He will also join the group board of L&Q Group, having already been a member of the firm’s Audit and Risk Committee. L&Q acquired Trafford Housing Trust last October, and the housing association aims to deliver 20,000 new homes across the North West over the next decade.

Harworth Group (Harworth) has appointed Lynda Shillaw to succeed Owen Michaelson as Chief Executive Officer. Her appointment will take effect on 1 November 2020, allowing time for an orderly handover before Owen retires from the Company on 31 December 2020.

Retirement Villages Group has appointed James Ahearne to the role of development director. A chartered planning and development surveyor, he started his career working for supermarket Lidl, where he spent 10 years – latterly heading up its North London property office. He said: “I am delighted to be working with Retirement Villages.” As the Board searches for a permanent replacement following the death of founder and chairman Tony Pidgley, Berkeley Group has appointed Glyn Barker as its non-executive chairman for up to two years. He takes the role immediately, stepping down as chairman of the Remuneration Committee and as a member of the Audit Committee. Helen Bunch has been named as executive managing director of Wates Residential. She joined Wates in 2006 as group strategy before becoming managing director of the fit-out and refurbishment division, Wates Smartspace. She replaces Paul Nicholls, who joined Wates Residential from United House four years ago.

Skills for Care has announced that its director of Operations, Andy Tilden, will leave the organisation next year.

The top civil servant with responsibility for care homes in England has stepped aside. Rosamond Roughton, the director general for adult social care at the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), “is now on a career break”, according to Whitehall sources, and a search has been launched across government to cover her role. No explanation for her move has been given.