Last night, BBC news ran a story about the care provider, Sussex Healthcare.
Police are investigating the treatment of 43 people in the care of Sussex Healthcare, since the investigation has started, 12 of those people have died. Some are younger adults with learning disabilities. Their families must be distraught and our thoughts are with them.
In a previous BBC report, Martyn Lewis, whose brother suffered a broken leg which the family feel was never properly explained and had raised concerns before. We are hearing again and again that people in the care of organisations are dying after relatives raise concerns. These deaths are preventable.
We do not yet know the details of why this has happened but many of the facts about this case are very worrying for people with learning disabilities and their families. In 9 homes, 12 people of the 43 being investigated that lived in them, died in a short space of time. How could commissioners and regulators not know that so many people were at risk. We are worried about why the council waited until last week to move some of the residents as detailed in this report.
We are concerned that the West Sussex County Council cabinet minister for adult social care was a paid advisor to Sussex Health Care. He left his job in July 2017. How can it be right that the most senior person responsible for social care in a local authority earns money from a profit making provider of social care.
Sussex Health Care specialise in caring for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, people who are least able to speak up for themselves. The commissioner/s should be closely monitoring the care of people that can’t speak up for themselves. If the council did not know or act quickly enough in this case, how do we know that other people getting care in West Sussex are safe.
Sussex Health Care do not display their CQC rating on their website as required by regulations and are not transparent. We are worried if CQC can’t or don’t ensure that providers are being transparent.
We are extremely worried about the safety of people with learning disabilities in West Sussex and want assurance that people are safe, especially those with the most profound learning disabilities. We will written to West Sussex County Council and the Care Quality Commission to ask about what they are doing to keep people with learning disabilities in West Sussex safe.