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10th June 2014

Southern Cross care home deaths: case review finds 'inadequate focus on care'

Case Review finds older people were put at risk by troubled care home operator's inadequate focus on care

A Serious Case Review into failings at the Orchid View Care Centre, a now closed Southern Cross-owned care home in West Sussex, has found that there was an "inadequate focus on care" by managers which "put vulnerable people at risk".

The Review was commissioned by the West Sussex Adult Safeguarding Board after an inquest in 2013 into the unexplained deaths of 19 older people at the home found evidence of "institutionalised abuse".

The review has made 34 recommendations. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has also admitted a series of failings. BBC News - Orchid View care home scandal review 'not enough'.

The Review found that the financial problems of care home operator Southern Cross, which once owned 700 homes across the UK, contributed to the poor care residents at the home received. The Guardian - Financial strategy of Southern Cross homes blamed for old people's deaths.

The report states: "We are concerned with the implications when such [financial] arrangements fail, as in the case of Southern Cross Healthcare in its management of Orchid View. The impact of this was felt directly by vulnerable people who experienced poor-quality care and their relatives who experienced anxiety and distress at the way their loved ones were cared for. There was a significant additional cost to the public purse.

"The end result of what happened with Southern Cross Healthcare was that its financial strategy and inadequate focus on care by its responsible managers put vulnerable people at risk."

Read the Serious Case Review document here

Read more about the Serious Case Review into Orchid View care home

Daily Telegraph: Families left in dark about care home dangers - Orchid View deaths inquiry

Community Care: Orchid View serious case review calls for more scrutiny of private care homes

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