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West Sussex care home concerns.

Details of seven private care homes where the quality of care has caused concern following a number of deaths have been revealed.

West Sussex County Council said it had suspended new placements to eight homes run by Sussex Health Care in August last year.

Two sites in Horsham were identified at the time - The Laurels in Guildford Road and Orchard Lodge in Dorking Road.

The local authority has now named four more homes in Horsham, and one each in East Grinstead, Crawley and Billingshurst.

All nine homes run by Sussex Health Care and currently the subject of a safeguarding investigation undertaken by the county council, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Sussex Police after ill-treatment allegations.

It is understood that there have been complaints about the care of 43 people, 12 of who have since died.

Sussex Health Care, which has been running for 30 years and has looked after about 30,000 people, said it was working openly with the police and county council to support their investigations.

The nine care homes facing investigation are: Beechcroft Care Centre, East Grinstead; Beech Lodge, Kingsmead Lodge, The Laurels, Orchard Lodge, Rapkyns Care Centre, Rapkyns Nursing Home, all in Horsham; Longfield Manor,  Billingshurst; and Woodhurst Lodge, Crawley.

West Sussex County Council said that the decision to publish the names of all nine homes was taken at a Safeguarding Adults Board meeting last autumn.

A recent CQC inspection of the Orchard Lodge care home rated it ‘inadequate.’

The CQC said the inspection in July 2017 was "prompted, in part, by notification of four historical service user deaths from 2016, the circumstances of which were raised as a concern in April 2017.”

It noted there had also been five subsequent safeguarding and quality concerns raised by partner agencies.

The council spokesman said in light of the CQC report, residents funded by the county council were being offered the opportunity to move if they wished.

The CQC said it would not be commenting until all the inspection reports had been published.