In response to an inquest that found neglect was a contributing factor in the deaths of five elderly residents at the Orchid View Care Home in West Sussex, a Department of Health spokesperson described the lack of care as "appalling".
They added: "We have made it clear that there must be a sharper focus on taking tougher action when things go wrong and holding those responsible to account.
"Confidence in the regulation regime has been shaken, but we have now turned a corner."
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John Kelly said he was "broken hearted" by the criticism, adding the president had expressed his condolences "the best way that he could".
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