A probe into resident deaths at services provided by Sussex Health Care has been widened, West Sussex Council has announced.
The development comes after police raided eight nursing homes and seized evidence in August as part of an investigation into the deaths of people between April 2015 and June 2017 (see Police probe Sussex Health Care deaths).
A spokesman for Sussex Healthcare spokesman told Care Home Professional that the investigation relates to complaints over the care of 43 people, including 12 of whom had since died.
Sussex Health Care added: “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 months, 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.”
A West Sussex County Council spokesperson confirmed the ongoing investigation, adding: “Together with partners including police, health and other local authorities, we continue to look in detail at care at a number of services run by Sussex Health Care.”
The following homes are the subject of safeguarding enquiries:
Beechcroft Care Centre, East Grinstead
Beech Lodge, Broadbridge Heath
Kingsmead Lodge, Horsham
The Laurels, Broadbridge Heath
Longfield Manor Billingshurst
Orchard Lodge, Horsham
Rapkyns Care Centre, Broadbridge Heath
Rapkyns Nursing Home, Horsham
Woodhurst Lodge, Crawley