Police probe Sussex Health Care deaths

A police investigation has been launched into the deaths of 12 residents at care homes run by Sussex Health Care.

Police have raided eight nursing homes and seized evidence as part of an investigation into the deaths of people between April 2015 and June 2017.

The Care Quality Commission said it was carrying out an investigation in conjunction with the police probe.

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Debbie Ivanova, Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the Care Quality Commission, said: “We carried out a series of unannounced inspections as a result of information of concern regarding SHC Clemsfold Group Ltd and SHC Rapkyns Group Limited that was passed to us by West Sussex County Council.”

She said the CQC would “publish full reports, detailing our findings and any enforcement action against the provider, as soon as we can”.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said there have been no arrests at this stage.

The investigation includes Longfield Manor in Billingshurt where a 78-year-old woman living with dementia died in November after falling twice.

A spokesperson for Sussex Health Care said: “Sussex Health Care is working openly with the police and West Sussex County Council to support their current investigation. We are committed to assisting them in any way we can and positively await the conclusion and the outcome of the investigation.

“Our priority at all times is to provide a high standard of care to every person we support. As a responsible provider, we have always invested in our staff and services to make sure we have the right resources available to provide that care. This is reflected in our Investors in People accreditation, by the respected experts in their field that we are proud to have as members of our care teams, and by the awards we have received from professional healthcare bodies over many years.

“In the past month, we have invested further in our care team, bringing in an independent expert with decades of experience to provide direct support to the teams at our homes and services. We have written to residents and relatives and will continue to keep them up-to-date on progress.

“As a respected care provider with over 30 years of experience providing high quality care in Sussex, during which time we have supported over 30,000 people, we are immensely disappointed by the recent press coverage, which absolutely does not provide a fair reflection of the work that we are doing each and every day to support all the people we are privileged to care for.”

Sussex Healthcare provides elderly, dementia and neurological care as well as support for people with learning disabilities.

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