COUNTY NEWS: Rat poison found in flour and pasta at Sussex care home

Ersham House nursing home in Ersham Road, Hailsham. Photo courtesy of Google Maps. SUS-160404-123215001
Ersham House nursing home in Ersham Road, Hailsham. Photo courtesy of Google Maps. SUS-160404-123215001

Police are investigating after rat poison was found in food supplies at a Sussex care home.

Shortly before 8.30am on Friday (April 1), police were called to the Ersham House nursing home in Ersham Road, Hailsham, where staff had discovered food stored in an outbuilding had been contaminated with rat poison.

None of the food, which included bags of flour and pasta, had been given to residents. Alternative supplies were obtained to ensure they did not go hungry.

Six residents are currently being treated for diarrhoea, but this is not thought to be linked in any way.

Detective Inspector Mark O’Brien, of the Sussex Police safeguarding investigations unit at Eastbourne, said: “Diarrhoea is not a symptom associated with this type of poison.

“The poison is easily recognisable as bright green pellets and it is dyed this colour for just this reason.

“We are working with the Care Quality Commission, Adult Services at East Sussex County Council, the South East Coast Ambulance Service and care home staff to ensure that any risks to humans are completely negated.

“Meanwhile, the presence of the poison and how it came to have contaminated stored food is being thoroughly investigated.”

Anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in or around Ersham House is asked to email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or phone 101, quoting serial 267 of 01/04.

Alternatively, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 (www.crimestoppers-uk.org).

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