‘Risk’ leads to new action over care home at centre of police probe

Sussex Health Care, the site of Orchard Lodge, Nr Warnham
Sussex Health Care, the site of Orchard Lodge, Nr Warnham

Residents are being moved out of a village care home - one of nine currently at the centre of a police investigation after the deaths of 12 people - following a new ‘risk assessment.’

West Sussex County Council is moving five residents from Orchard Lodge care home in Warnham which looks after adults with learning and physical disabilities.

It was recently rated ‘inadequate’ following an inspection by health watchdogs.

Orchard Lodge, and the other eight homes now being investigated by Sussex Police, are all run by the same company - Sussex Health Care.

A county council spokeswoman said: “West Sussex County Council has taken the decision to move five people who are currently in residential care at the care home Orchard Lodge. These are the people the county council has placed in the home.”

She added: “The county council’s decision follows a further risk assessment of the clinical care and safety being provided for these individuals.

“Orchard Lodge Care Home is run by Sussex Health Care and has recently received an Inadequate rating from the Care Quality Commission.

“We are talking to all other organisations which fund people at the home about our concerns and the action we are taking.

“We have spoken to all the families of these people and continue to talk to them and answer any questions or concerns they may have.

“Whilst we recognise that this decision is not an easy one, we must place the care and safety of these vulnerable individuals above all other considerations.

“The latest concerns were identified as part of the ongoing investigation about Sussex Health Care homes.

“All five people have been found alternative places locally.”

The other eight care homes currently being investigated by police are: The Laurels in Broadbridge Heath; Beech Lodge, Guildford Road, Broadbridge Heath; Beechcroft Care Centre, East Grinstead; Kingsmead Lodge, Crawley Road, Roffey; Longfield Manor, West Street, Billingshurst; Rapkyns Care Centre, Guildford Road, Broadbridge Heath; Rapkyns Nursing Home, Guildford Road, Broadbridge Heath and Woodhurst Lodge, Old Brighton Road, Pease Pottage, Crawley.