Disability Care Homes Investigated in West Sussex

Police have confirmed that they are investigating allegations of lack of care and safeguarding of 43 care home residents, 12 of whom have since died.

Nine homes run by a care home provider in West Sussex have been searched and medical records taken away.

The Care Quality Commission carried out a number of unannounced inspections after it was alerted to the concerns by West Sussex County Council.

Due to "significant safeguarding concerns", it has identified two homes under investigation, both in Horsham, West Sussex.

New placements have been suspended to eight homes run by the organisation.

Sussex Police said the investigation was at an early stage and no arrests had been made. It added:

"The investigation is... seeking to determine whether care standards fell to a criminal level of neglect, ill-treatment or negligence."

The provider, which runs nineteen care homes for people with learning difficulties, neurological conditions and the elderly, said it is "committed to assisting [the police] in any way we can and positively await the conclusion and the outcome of the investigation."

West Sussex County Council said it had no plans currently to move residents but would keep that under review. A spokesman for the council said that:

"Robust safeguarding plans have been put in place for individual people and for the services they are using as is the case when safeguarding enquiries are raised.

Where other local authorities or organisations have placed people in the two named homes, the council is advising them of the concerns and asking them to review the placements.

Debbie Ivanova, deputy chief inspector of adult social care at the Care Quality Commission added that a full report, detailing CQC findings and any enforcement action against the provider, will be published once the investigation is over.

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