Police inquiry launched into alleged abuse at village care home

Terrys Cross House, Woodmancote, near Henfield SUS-180320-101857001
Terrys Cross House, Woodmancote, near Henfield SUS-180320-101857001

A police investigation has been launched after an allegation of abuse at a village care home.

The incident is alleged to have happened at Terrys Cross House in Woodmancote, near Henfield - a care home where accommodation is prioritised for people associated with the Church of England.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “We have been made aware by West Sussex County Council of a safeguarding allegation at Terrys Cross House care home in Brighton Road, Woodmancote, and we are liaising with the council to establish the circumstances.”

A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Chichester said: “We are aware of an allegation concerning a senior member of the care team at Terry’s Cross Retirement and Care Home in Henfield, West Sussex.

The board of trustees has acted swiftly on hearing of the allegation in line with its safeguarding policy and immediately suspended the member of staff pending a full investigation of the matter.

“We take safeguarding very seriously and emphasise that the safety, care and protection of our residents is paramount.

“Interim measures have been put in place in line with statutory requirements.

“We have now instigated a full investigation in cooperation with the appropriate agencies.”

Meanwhile, West Sussex County Council said it had “recently been made aware of a safeguarding allegation at Terrys Cross House” and that the “incident is currently part of a safeguarding enquiry and we are liaising with the Care Quality Commission and Sussex police. We are unable to comment further at this stage.”

Debbie Ivanova,deputy chief inspector of adult social care with the Care Quality Commission said the commission had also recently been made aware of the safeguarding allegation. “This incident is currently being dealt with by local safeguarding team and has been referred to the local police. It would be inappropriate for CQC to comment further until these agencies have completed their investigations.”

Terrys Cross House is a registered charity whose trustees and management committee oversee the maintenance and organisation of the house. It says applications for care home residents “are open to all but accommodation and care for those associated with the Church of England are given a priority.”

The house was left to the Diocese of Chichester in the 1950s and the trust was formed in 1992 and took over the management of the house that year.