Evacuated Sussex care home left unable to eat, drink and use the toilet

Horncastle House was evacuated with no warning

Residents of a Sussex care home that closed without warning in September were left unable to eat, drink and use the toilet, inspectors say.

Horncastle House, run by Sussex Health Care, closed suddenly on Friday by health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

CQC is currently working with Sussex Police about ‘any matters that may require police attention.’

Sussex Health Care is currently under police investigation over allegation of lack of care involving 43 residents at nine private care homes, 13 of whom have died.

Before Horncastle House was shut, Sussex Health Care said it was providing more support at the home.

CQC inspectors visited the care home after further concerns were raised about the standards of care and the risks that threatened the safety of residents.

Horncastle House was rated ‘inadequate’ following an inspection in August.

Deborah Ivanova, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of adult social care for the south, said; “As a result of this latest inspection, we had no choice but to use our urgent enforcement powers to protect the people who were still living at Horncastle House.

“Over a period of time we have called for significant improvements, but to date the action of the provider has been ineffective. We have no confidence that the provider will take appropriate confidence – and we can’t leave people at risk of harm.”

A Sussex Health Care spokesman said: “We are proud to have provided high quality care at the home for over 30 years and the vast majority of our residents and their families have been hugely complimentary with the support they have received.

“We had taken on board the CQC’s findings and provided additional support to the service. A new home manager had been appointed and had just started in the post to oversee enhanced care and support at the home.”

Ms Ivanova said: “We appreciate that this has been a difficult time for everyone involved. Our first priority is always the welfare of the people who are living in care services and we will continue to work closely with West Sussex County Council, who are supporting people who were in Horncastle House and their families to find new services that meet their needs.”

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