Seven members of staff have been suspended at Braintree’s biggest care home amid concerns over the treatment of residents.

A source close to The Old Deanery and St Mary’s Court in Bocking, which has 156 elderly residents, said staff had been suspended after allegations were made to the management about the treatment of residents in The Old Deanery.

The management has since hired an independent law firm to carry out a full investigation as a matter of urgency, but declined to elaborate on the nature of the allegations.

On Monday evening, as many as 60 relatives of residents attended the care home for a meeting to learn of the situation, what action was being taken and to have questions answered.