The findings of an independent report into failings at a private Copthorne care home have been supported unequivocally by West Sussex County Council.
The Serious Case Review into Orchid View, which was published on Monday (June 9) made more than 30 recommendations to reduce the likelihood of a repeat of incidents of substandard care, management and neglect such as those that contributed to the deaths of five elderly residents at the home, run by Southern Cross Healthcare.
Peter Catchpole, county council Cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “What happened at Orchid View was harrowing. We welcome this report and its recommendations. There is nothing more important than looking after the most vulnerable people in our society and in this respect Southern Cross Healthcare has been judged to have failed. Statutory agencies such as West Sussex County Council had no choice but to take action to investigate and ultimately move people from the home to protect them.”
The Serious Case Review was commissioned by West Sussex Adult Safeguarding Board following an inquest last year where the Coroner found substandard care contributed to a number of deaths at the home between 2009 and 2011.
The report included recommendations that it should be a requirement for care businesses to prove they can recruit and sustain a trained and skilled workforce and they can prove this to the Care Quality Commission – the care watchdog and regulator.
Judith Wright, chairman of the West Sussex Adults Safeguarding Board, said: “At a time when we, as a society, are entrusting the care of vulnerable people to independent sector organisations we are challenged by examples of poor care.
“This report considers the poor care delivered in one home, Orchid View, but its recommendations go beyond West Sussex.
““As a Safeguarding Board we felt we had a responsibility to shine a light on what happened in the home and how it was dealt with, or not, by the owners, the regulator and partner agencies.
“So, just as in the NHS it is necessary to strengthen quality, governance, and financial monitoring, it is necessary to do so with independent organisations, be they ‘not for profit’ Trusts and charities or commercial businesses such as Southern Cross Healthcare.
“Safeguarding is everybody’s business. We welcome this report and its recommendations. We know that, for the families of residents in the home, nothing can bring back the people they loved and lost.
“However, we will work with other organisations to ensure that the recommendations outlined in this report are adopted.”
The report can be read in full at www.westsussex.gov.uk.