NEWS HR

A former care home manger stole more than £24,000 from a resident over five years to help pay for his gambling, a court has heard. Robert Harbord, 48, had worked as a manager at Heath Farm House care home in Little Plumstead when he took between £18,000 and £24,000 from a resident at the home “who had no mental capacity whatsoever”. Norwich Crown Court heard the money had been taken by Harbord between November 2014 and November 2019 but was only discovered after Harbord was dismissed for gross misconduct in relation to another matter. Duncan O’Donnell, prosecuting, said following his departure a review was conducted by Swanton Care and Community Ltd, which ran the care home, during which the fraud was discovered. He said Harbord had taken the debit card of one of the residents at the care home, who had no knowledge of him having the card and was vulnerable. It was discovered more than £24,800 had been taken from the resident’s account. Mr O’ Donnell said Harbord had a gambling habit which some of the money was spent on. Harbord, from Desmond Drive, Old Catton, appeared in court for sentence on Monday, March 15 having previously admitted fraud. Jailing Harbord for 20 months, Judge Andrew Shaw said: “It’s a substantial amount of money stolen over a sustained period of time from an extremely vulnerable person.” Judge Shaw said that those working with vulnerable people must understand that stealing their money will “almost always result in immediate detention to discourage others from stealing from these most vulnerable people”.

A new group chief executive has been appointed to lead Burlington Care and Marton Care Homes. Amanda Cunningham previously held the role of operations director at Marton Care Homes since March 2020. She has a wealth of social care experience, having begun her career as a nurse.

Heathcotes Group has appointed Emily Frost as recruitment business partner to support its specialist residential services nationwide.

Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare have announced the appointment of Michael Hurt as their new head of Memory Care.

Alcedo Care Group has recruited Nicki Grain to manage its recently opened office on Morecambe Road in Lancaster.

Bluebird Care has announced the appointment of a new managing director. Phil Pegler has joined the national home care provider from Four Seasons Healthcare, where he was interim programme director.

A new registered manager has been appointed at a Bradford nursing home. Comfort Sijuwade has joined the team at Staveley Birkleas in Shipley, which is owned and operated by Czajka Care Group, and cares for young people from the age of 18 through to 64, who have a variety of needs including amputees, people with brain injuries, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Motor Neurone Disease, Huntington’s, Epilepsy and many other complex conditions.

Abbeyfield Society chief executive officer David McCullough has died, the charity has announced. He passed away suddenly on Monday 8 February, Abbeyfield said in a statement.