Admissions halted at village care home following reports of violence and abuse

Sussex Health Care Rapkyns Group Limited runs The Laurels in Broadbridge Heath
Sussex Health Care Rapkyns Group Limited runs The Laurels in Broadbridge Heath

Action is being taken to halt admissions to a village care home criticised by health regulators last week following reports of violence and abuse.

It was revealed last week in a report by the Care Quality Commission that staff and disabled residents at The Laurels in Broadbridge Heath, near Horsham, were regularly attacked and left bruised with ripped clothing. In some instances, residents were given overdoses of precribed medicines.

The Laurels is one of nine care homes run by Sussex Health Care which is currently at the centre of a police investigation following the deaths of 13 people.

The home, which cares for up to 41 autistic and disabled younger adults, has twice been rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission. And in a statement today, the commission announced that it was now taking action to restrict admissions.

The Laurels is made up of four ‘lodges’ one of which - Aspen Lodge - was closed by Sussex Health Care in June following an inspection by the care quality commission and an admission from Sussex Health Care of staff recruitment problems.

In its statement today, the commission says it has served a ‘Notice of Decision’ on the health company. It added that the notice “imposed four conditions upon The Laurels which included the restriction of admissions to the service, alongside measures to support the employment of competent staff and the safe administration of medicines.”

Deborah Ivanova, deputy chief inspector of adult social care, south, said: “We have told the provider on a number of occasions where improvements are required. Their responses and actions were not effective enough to ensure the safety of the people in their care and this has led us to take the actions we have.

“In this instance we have restricted admissions to the service to give Sussex Health Care time and capacity to improve the care to the required standard. In response to our concerns Sussex Health Care has temporarily closed Aspen Lodge, one unit of The Laurels.

“I understand people will be concerned, but our first priority is always the welfare of the people who are living at the service. We will be working closely with other stakeholders to monitor improvements at The Laurels.”

Sussex Health Care has been approached to comment.