Orchid View: West Sussex Coroner backs public inquiry

Family of Orchid View care home residents, who died while living there, appear before the press after the inquest in 2013 ENGSUS00120131028161743
Family of Orchid View care home residents, who died while living there, appear before the press after the inquest in 2013 ENGSUS00120131028161743
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A West Sussex coroner is backing the families of relatives who died at Orchid View, by calling for a public inquiry.

An inquest into the death of 19 people who died at Orchid View care home in Copthorne, which was run by Southern Cross, ruled that five of the deaths were caused by sub-standard care and neglect, with witnesses reporting residents were locked in their rooms and underfed.

Since the inquest in 2013 and a Serious Case Review in 2014, families of the residents have called for a public inquiry.

Jean Halfpenny’s daughter Linzi Collings called for a full independent public inquiry: “To ensure that every care home across the country is performing to a high standard and providing quality care, rather than running as a business with money rather than welfare as its core value.”

A statement from Penny Schofield, Coroner for West Sussex was released today (June 26).

It reads: “At the conclusion of the inquest into the deaths of 19 residents at Orchid View I decided to wait for the outcome of the Serious Case Review commissioned by the local authority before considering whether to request a public inquiry.

“Now we have the report from the Case Review I believe that there are broader public interest issues at stake that could not be covered by the inquest or the serious case review.

“I have therefore decided that now is the time to write to the Secretary of State for Health and request that these broader concerns be addressed by way of a public inquiry.

“In order to ensure that I have considered all the areas such an inquiry should examine I have asked the families for their views.

“Once I have those I will complete my request.”

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