Orchid View: ‘Not enough’ done to stop abuse at care homes

Orchid View care home ENGSUS00120121209093302
Orchid View care home ENGSUS00120121209093302

‘Not enough’ has been done to stop the insitutional abuse that happened at Orchid View Care Home happening again – according to the families of the relatives.

Nineteen people died at the Southern Cross Healthcare privately run home between 2009 and 2011.

An inquest in 2013 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.

A serious case review was published in June 2014, making 30 recommendations to prevent a repeat of the horrors faced by some resident.

Following a workshop in June 2015, West Sussex Safeguarding Adults Board (WSSAB) has published a report titled Orchid View – One Year On to ‘guard against future failings’.

However, the families of those affected are asking for assurance the report is not ‘just another document’.

A statement from them said: “The ‘Orchid View – One Year On’ initial response is a step in the right direction and the workshop was useful; bringing all the agencies together to have conversations with them and hear their commitments towards change.

“However, the initial response is very much geared to identifying when things have already happened rather than prevention, therefore there needs to be more evidence of the different agencies working together at the coal face to keep people safe.

“We are not satisfied that this document does enough to ensure that vulnerable people are safe or that their needs are met.

“More people are living with complex needs in care homes who are not protected enough by law, regulators, social workers, GPs, nurses etc and this has to change.

“As relatives we are left feeling that not enough has been done over the past 12 months and that the care industry remains vulnerable.

“The CQC and WSCC cannot for one moment take their eye off the ball, because what happened at Orchid View could happen again.”

The relatives’ call for a public inquiry was supported by West Sussex coroner, Penelope Schofield in June, who said she would be writing to the Secretary of State for Health.

The report states West Sussex County Council and other agencies ‘deeply regret’ what happened at the care home, adding significant changes have been made since its closure in 2011.

A statement released by Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council and Avril Wilson, executive director of care, wellbeing and education, said: “The council has learned a number of lessons and is wholly committed to working with residents of care homes, their families, partners and the care sector itself to prevent vulnerable people being placed at risk.

The WSSAB has developed an action plan`which includes encouraging professionals to share concerns, accessible information for members of the public, making sure quality of care is regulated and carers understand what constitutes ‘good’ care, sharing best practice and making sure effective systems are in place across care agencies so concerns can be identified at an early stage.

Read the report at www.westsussex.gov.uk

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