Part of police probe home to close due to staffing problems

Sussex Health Care (SHC) has announced the closure of the unit of a service undergoing a police investigation.

The Aspen Unit is part of The Laurels care home – one of nine SHC services being investigated by police over the death of 13 people (see Probe widened into Sussex Health Care deaths).

An SHC spokesperson said: “We have taken the difficult decision to close the Aspen Unit at The Laurels. We believe the challenges with recruiting suitably qualified and trained staff will hamper our ability to provide good outcomes in a timely manner.

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“The health and wellbeing of the people we support is our absolute priority and we are working closely with the eight people we support on the Aspen Unit, their families and their commissioners to ensure appropriate new placements are found.

“This decision does not impact the other individuals we support at The Laurels and staff members from the Aspen Unit will be offered new roles within the organisation.”

Aspen is one of four units at The Laurels, which cares for up to 41 disabled people. The service was rated Inadequate by the CQC following an inspection in February.

A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said: “Sussex Health Care has informed the council that they are closing the Aspen Unit at The Laurels in Horsham.

“That means that all residents who are living there will need to move to alternative services. We are working closely with the provider, local partner agencies and other councils who fund people in the unit to suppor6t them and their relatives at this time.”

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