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Care home worker: 'I couldn't live with knowledge of abuse'

Speaking outside the inquest, Lisa Martin, who first informed police of the problems at the care home, said she felt she had no choice but to come forward:

I came forward because I had witnessed too much poor management and care to vulnerable adults and I couldn't live with the knowledge any longer and felt I had no choice but to tell the police.

Morally I know I did the right thing but personally I have not worked for two years and the case has had a huge impact on my life.

However, I wouldn't want to dissuade people from doing the right thing if they see vulnerable elderly people being abused and neglected.

Speaking of her former colleagues, she added: "They shouldn't be allowed to work in the industry."

'Institutionalised abuse from the top down' at home

Penelope Schofield, the West Sussex coroner, said:

There was institutionalised abuse throughout the home and it started, in my view, at a very early stage, and nobody did anything about it.

This, to me, was from the top down. It was completely mismanaged and understaffed and failed to provide a safe environment for residents.

Ms Schofield said it was "disgraceful" that the home was allowed to be run in the way it was for around two years. She criticised the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which gave Orchid View a "good" rating in 2010 - a year before it shut.

I question how this could be the case and I question whether the inspection that did take place was fit for purpose.

It's a heart-breaking case. We all have parents who will probably need care in the latter part of their lives.


Coroner: Those involved in neglect should be 'ashamed'

Orchard View care home in Copthorne, West Sussex. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Penelope Schofield, the West Sussex coroner, said there was "institutionalised abuse" at Orchid View care home in Copthorne.

She said those involved in the neglect of pensioners at the now defunct home should be "ashamed" as it was announced a serious case review has been set up.

Relatives tell of neglect inside Orchard View care home

Doris Fielding, one of 19 elderly residents who died at Orchid View care home in Copthorne, West Sussex. Credit: Family handout.

Relatives of the 19 elderly people who died inside Orchard View care home in Copthorne, West Sussex, told an inquest into their deaths they were concerned about the levels of care inside the home.

Call bells were often not answered for long periods of time, and in some cases were in places that the residents could not reach.

Relatives said their loved ones were not tended to properly, were often left unattended and physically inactive for long periods of time, and were not given any mental stimulation or attention by staff.

Inquest into elderly deaths heard of inadequate care

The inquest hearing into the deaths of 19 elderly residents who died in Orchid View care home in Copthorne, West Sussex, heard that some residents were given the wrong doses of medication, and were left unattended for long periods of time due to shortages of staff.

Wilfred Gardner, one of 19 elderly residents who died in Orchid View care home. Credit: Family handout


Inquest verdicts due over nursing home deaths

The relatives of 19 elderly residents of Orchard View care home on Copthorne, West Sussex, will hear the results of an inquest into their deaths today.

Orchard View care home in Copthorne, West Sussex. Credit: ITV News Meridian

A five-week inquest has scrutinised the levels of care received by the residents before they died.

The care home closed down two years ago, and has since reopened under a new name and management.

DH: Allegations must be dealt with robustly

Reacting to new data published by Charity Age UK showing a rise in the number of reports of suspected abuse of vulnerable older people, a Department of Health (DH) spokesman said:

No-one should suffer abuse or neglect in a place they are meant to feel safe in, whether this is in their own home or in a care setting.

It is encouraging that people are coming forward and making allegations where they have concerns because it allows the police, councils and the regulators to investigate them swiftly and robustly, as they must.

But we also need to make sure everything possible is done to protect people from abuse wherever it might take place.

This is why we have introduced a new Chief Inspector for Social Care who will hold local areas to account for abuse. We are also currently considering new measures to make directors of care homes and hospitals that allow neglect and abuse to take place personally and criminally accountable for failures in care.

Over half of case referrals for vulnerable elderly adults

Three fifths of the 112,000 cases referred by English councils were for abuse against vulnerable adults - described in the report as people who are or may be in need of community care services because they are elderly or suffer mental illness, a disability or another ailment - aged 65 or over.

Physical abuse and neglect were the most common types of abuse reported, the HSCIC experimental figures show.

Care workers and family were the most likely alleged abusers, according to the report.

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