A WOMAN from Prestatyn who said she was the victim of a “witch hunt” at the care home where she worked has won a claim of unfair dismissal.

Paula Jones was sacked from her role as senior carer at Beach Court Care Home, Prestatyn in 2022 after she was alleged to have left residents exposed to the sun during a summer garden party, and refused to assist an incontinent resident.

But while an employment tribunal upheld her claim of unfair dismissal, Ms Jones, 41, lost her additional claims of wrongful dismissal (breach of contract) and age discrimination.

Beach Court, the tribunal found, should have been “crystal clear” with Ms Jones about exactly what she had been dismissed for, but was not.


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The tribunal heard that, on June 17, 2022, a “garden party” was held for Beach Court’s residents, but by the following morning, 11 were suffering from sunburns and two from skin blisters.

Ex-colleagues of Ms Jones’ said they raised concerns to her about residents’ exposure to the sun that day, and the amount of time that they were outside, but that she appeared not “concerned” or “bothered”.

Ms Jones was also accused of refusing to help and change a resident after they had an accident that day, as well as being “sat sunbathing” in the garden.

Another member of staff at the home said that her suggestion of giving the residents suncream was “ignored” by Ms Jones.

For several days after the garden party, the tribunal was told, one resident’s face and arms were still sunburnt, and they required such treatment as the use of wet flannels. 

On June 18, the day after the garden party, Ms Jones was suspended from work, but she dismissed these allegations as “baseless lies”.

In an email to Elin Reeve, the home’s owner and responsible individual, she said it was a “team decision” to take the residents outside, and that she could not recall refusing to help an incontinent resident.

During an investigation meeting on June 27, Ms Jones denied forcing residents to go outside, adding that “the whole thing was a witch hunt” and that “people had lied and had got it in for her”.

A disciplinary hearing then followed on July 25, at which Ms Jones said her mental health had suffered, and that she was receiving counselling as a direct consequence of these matters.

She was dismissed two days later, before her appeal against this decision was rejected in November 2022.

Ms Jones, who worked at Beach Court for four-and-a-half years and was said to have a clean disciplinary record prior to this, added that none of the residents’ families had complained about sunburns.

The tribunal ruled that she was unfairly dismissed on the basis of “procedural deficiencies that were not sufficiently remedied” by Beach Court.

These included sending her original suspension email from a general account that other staff could access, and inaccuracies in later decision letters, such as including an additional allegation which by then had been withdrawn.

Russell Reeve, a director of the home who chaired Ms Jones’ appeal hearing, was said to have used “poor, vague wording” when writing to her about the outcome.

He had told her: “There was failure on your part to adhere to care standards, policy and procedure,” which employment judge and tribunal chair Rachel Harfield labelled “very general words”.

The case will now proceed to a “remedy hearing”, where the amount of compensation or other reparation to be awarded to Ms Jones will be decided.