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How did kidnapper get job in care home?
A root-and-branch inquiry has been ordered into how a criminal with convictions for robbery, kidnap and sexual assault landed a job at a Bradford residential home.
Waheed Qayum, 27, went on to steal more than £20,000 from the bank accounts of two elderly and vulnerable residents at Fairmount Gardens residential home in North Park Road, Heaton. He was jailed for 30 months by a Bradford Crown Court judge last week.
The court was told Qayum, who had served lengthy prison sentences for his previous offences, had partly used the cash to feed a gambling habit.
Today Councillor Dale Smith, executive member for social care on Bradford Council, promised to investigate how Qayum was able to get a job at the home.
Coun Smith said: "The circumstances seem quite outrageous and most concerning. I shall be looking for an immediate internal inquiry to see what it was that let this case slip through the net to this extent. We have a moral duty of care and I will want to know the full circumstances."
The home closed after watchdog, the Commission for Social Care Inspectorate, branded it unsafe.
Qayum, of Killinghall Road, Bradford Moor, was employed at the nursing home in September, 2005, but after six months he began to steal from the residents he was supposed to be caring for.
All care homes are required to make checks for convictions with the Criminal Records Bureau when recruiting staff.
But a spokesman for the CSCI said: "We had concerns about the checks the home undertook on the staff they recruited. They weren't as thorough as they should have been.
"We had a number of concerns about the home and we were putting pressure on them to put things right. As a result the owners closed it down and it has not been running as a care home since January last year."
In a damning report on the home - following an unannounced inspection at the end of June, 2006 - the CSCI, which regulates all adult social care services, declared: "The provider cannot demonstrate that service users are safe, as many of the staff files do not have all of the required documents to prove that their backgrounds have been checked."
It said quality was poor in the areas of support for residents; support and protection by the home's recruitment policy and practices; and the meeting of residents' individual and joint needs by trained staff.
The report concluded there was a long list of statutory requirements, reflecting breaches in the Care Homes Regulations, that must be addressed, and the home was failing in a number of areas, including adult protection, staff training and supervision and health and safety.
The registered manager at the 40-bed home at the time was Sonny Ali.
A Bradford Council Adult services spokesman said that, though private nursing homes were registered and monitored by the CSCI, Adult Services monitored their contracting arrangements.
The spokesman said: "Fairmount Gardens had failed to follow procedures in terms of care planning and recruitment processes. A number of meetings took place in 2006 with the company managers, CSCI, Social Services managers and the local Adult Protection Unit.
"Once we became aware of financial irregularities the matter was reported immediately to the police and CSCI.
"Following discussions between the Council, CSCI, and the home, the owners agreed to close it. The relocation of the residents and the closure of Fairmount Gardens took place towards the end of 2006."
A CSCI report in June 2005 found that care homes and other care services were failing to consistently apply safe vetting procedures and good recruitment practices for staff.
The Commission chairman, Dame Denise Platt, said at the time: "Many care providers are still not meeting the minimum standard.
"Employers need to be more rigorous in their recruitment and vetting practices, so that people who use services can have confidence that their care is safe."