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'Harrowing' care home abuse report published

More than 30 recommendations have been made in a Serious Case Review (SCR) in a bid to prevent a repeat of the "institutionalised abuse" which led to the death of five elderly people at a scandal-hit care home.

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Care home criticised for 'top town abuse' of residents

A serious case review (SCR) into the deaths of five people in a care home in Copthorne has identified a number of failings that contributed to their neglect.

Staff and managers at Orchid View care home, run by Southern Cross, "turned a blind eye" to errors, and were criticised for the following:

  • A lack of respect for residents
  • Poor nutrition
  • Poor hydration
  • Mismanagement of medication
  • A lack of staff

The coroner at the inquest into the deaths last October said all residents suffered "sub-optimal" care, but five people, Wilfred Gardner, Margaret Tucker, Enid Trodden, John Holmes, and Jean Halfpenny, died from natural causes "which had been attributed to by neglect". She 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.

– Coroner Penelope Schofield

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