West Sussex County Council has suspended placements to Sussex Health Care (SHC) as a result of an ongoing police investigation.
Police are investigating 12 deaths at SHC services between April 2015 and June 2017 (see Police probe Sussex Health Care deaths).
A West Sussex County Council Spokesperson said: “Due to ongoing concerns about the quality of care provided by Sussex Health Care, we are suspending all new placements at care homes run by the group.
“We continue to work with Sussex Health Care and other partners including the Care Quality Commission to make sure residents are safe.”
A SHC spokesperson commented: “For the past nine months we have sought to do everything possible to work with West Sussex County Council, both to address their concerns where they have been reasonable and to put right the numerous misconceptions where the county has been in error.
“As part of our commitment to partnership working we appointed an independent expert in the summer of 2017 to carry out a comprehensive review of procedures and help rebuild a positive working relationship with the county. Subsequently, we appointed a highly experienced CEO in the New Year to continue to drive through that programme. Throughout this entire period we have welcomed representatives from the county into our homes and services to review care provision and have, for the most part, enjoyed positive working relationships.
“Our new senior management team is now in discussion with the county council, particularly in relation to how the council has measured quality of provision based on historic issues which do not reflect the current standards of care. We are confident these discussions will support us to move forward positively with the county council.
“West Sussex continues to fund their existing placements with us, and have done throughout this period. Our homes and services will continue to provide good quality care to the very many people we support and we will keep our relationship with WSCC under constant review. Our commitment to providing the highest standards of care for every person we support remains undiminished.”