Horsham care home branded ‘inadequate’ ... for the eighth time

A care home on the edge of Horsham has been sternly criticised by health regulators - for the eighth time in a row.

The Laurels at Broadbridge Heath - which looks after younger adults with learning disabilities and complex health needs - has been rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission following a recent inspection.

It is the eighth consecutive time that the care home - run by Sussex Health Care - has been rated inadequate or ‘requiring improvement.’

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But Sussex Health Care - which is at the centre of a police investigaion into the deaths of eight people at nine of its homes - says it has “made the difficult decision at the end of 2020 to close our learning disability service at The Laurels.”

JPCT 29-01-13 S13050466X Broadbridge Heath. Rapkyns nursing home, Sussex Health Care -photo by Steve Cobb ENGSUS00120130129124624

The Care Quality Commission’s latest inspection took place last November ‘in response to concerns relating to the safety of residents’ and, in a report just out, inspectors said it remained inadequate.

Jemima Burnage, the commission’s head of inspection for adult social care in the south, said: “This report makes for concerning reading, although we do appreciate that this has been a difficult time, both for everyone involved at The Laurels and also for the local area as a whole.

“However, our first priority is always the welfare of the people who are living at the service. There remain continuing concerns at the service and we cannot allow people to be exposed to ongoing risks to their safety and well-being.

“As a result of the concerns which inspectors had, CQC will consider what further action we would want to take to ensure people who receive services from The Laurels are safe.”

Inspectors found there were risks around people’s deteriorating health and well-being which were inconsistently managed and monitored by staff.

Medicines were not always managed safely. People had not always received their medicines as intended or when they needed them.

People were not always safeguarded from abuse, said the commission.

Lessons were not always learnt, and actions not taken to investigate safety incidents, and prevent them reoccurring.

Staff practice, and reporting systems to safeguard people from abuse, were not always effective, they said.

And, they added that staff did not always have the required competencies or knowledge to safely meet people’s individual needs.

A spokesperson for Sussex Health Care said: “Providing the highest quality of care for those we look after is our utmost priority and, as such, we are deeply disappointed by the latest report from the Care Quality Commission.

“Following our own extensive review, we made the difficult decision at the end of 2020 to close our learning disability service at The Laurels.

“This is part of a wider review of our services in this area with the aim of enhancing the care we deliver in both the short and longer-term.

“This process is currently underway and every resident currently at The Laurels is having their placement reviewed individually. Our focus is to provide a seamless continuity of care for those we look after through this process.

“This change forms part of a wider programme of investment we are delivering across our estate. The Laurels is being reprovisioned so that it can provide modern, high-quality and appropriate care for older people, ensuring we can continue to support individuals and families across the region.”