Care home owners to lodge complaint over closure


Owners of a care home shut suddenly by regulators because residents were deemed ‘at risk of death’ say they are to lodge a complaint over the closure.

Horncastle House care home in Sharpthorne, near East Grinstead, was closed by the Care Quality Commission on September 13.

Explaining the decision this week commission deputy chief inspector Debbie Ivanova said: “People were being exposed to immediate risk of serious harm or death because of poor practice.”

As a result the commission used urgent enforcement powers to remove the home from the care register, while notifying the local authority and NHS of its serious concerns.

Shortly after the notice was issued the company which runs the home - Sussex Heath Care - withdrew staff support leaving authorities with no alternative but to move residents out that night, according to the commission.

However, a spokesman for Sussex Health Care said: “As soon as the Care Quality Commission issued the notice late on Friday afternoon, we did all we could to support residents, including providing food, drink and welfare checks - contrary to the statement released by the CQC.

“The CQC were not present at the home at any time during the afternoon or evening, and at no time was there any indication that the service could be continued for longer to permit a more managed move – had there been, we would have, of course, supported this wholeheartedly.

“The CQC’s decision left 23 frail and vulnerable elderly people – including one who was being discharged from hospital at the time – in an incredibly uncertain situation. Any comments from the CQC saying otherwise is misleading and only serves to deflect blame for its decision.

“We understand the CQC is entitled to go down this route but we argue strongly that someone from the CQC should have intervened to halt proceedings. We will be lodging a complaint regarding the decision to close the home.”