Former care home managers leave jobs following inquest

Two former managers of the failed Orchid View care home have left the company that now manages the home after the inquest into the deaths of 19 residents reached its conclusion on Friday.

Orchid View care home
Orchid View care home

Last week West Sussex coroner Penelope Schofield said five residents died following neglect at the Copthorne home, then owned by Southern Cross.

It closed in 2011 after two years of being open and reopened under a new name under the management of Care UK.

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This week it emerged that Southern Cross area manager Sarah O’Mara and regional director Mark Cash worked with the new home, but have left after Care UK conducted a review on Friday as a result of the inquest’s findings.

The inquest heard that Southern Cross regional manager Sara O’Mara ‘had the power to change things’ at the home, but a reluctance to hire agency staff repeatedly led to the home being short staffed, Residents went unwashed, hungry and thirsty and were given their medication late or not at all.

Ms O’Mara denied this, but Ms Schofield recorded as a finding that there was ‘some sort of policy’ to not use agency staff when they were requested by staff.

This week a Care UK spokesman said: “Care UK initiated a review into the Coroner’s findings immediately after the inquest concluded on Friday, to address in particular any observations by the Coroner that concern the conduct of any of Care UK’s current employees who were previously involved in the Southern Cross management structure responsible for the Orchid View home.

“Subsequently, both Sarah O’Mara, appointed by Care UK as a regional manager in July 2013, and Mark Cash, appointed by Care UK in March 2013 as a regional operations director, have left the company. Neither now works for Care UK.”

For a full report of the inquest see tomorrow’s (October 23) Crawley Observer.