23 quizzed by police after deaths of 13 people at nine Sussex care homes

A total of 23 people have now been questioned by police investigating the deaths of 13 people at nine care homes in and around Horsham.

Thursday, 28th November 2019, 12:26 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd December 2019, 10:50 am

Police revealed this week that their investigation is continuing into the deaths ... more than two years after it first started.

The care homes where the 13 people died are all run by the same company - Sussex Health Care.

The police investigation was first launched in August 2017 when officers were alerted after ‘safeguarding’ concerns were raised by West Sussex Council Council over 43 residents at the homes.

Police

A police spokesman said this week: “Our investigation continues to focus on the 13 deceased, to determine whether there was any criminal liability in relation to those deaths.

“In the other 29 cases there was no evidence of any criminal offences.

“As of 29 November 2019, 23 people have so far been interviewed under caution in connection with the investigation.

“The alleged offences include, individually, wilful neglect by a care worker, as an employee failing to discharge general health and safety duty at work, or manslaughter by gross negligence

“We continue to keep families involved updated as the investigation progresses.

“We are also in consultation with the CPS but no decisions have been taken on any prosecutions at this stage.”

A spokesman for Sussex Health Care said: “We have cooperated fully and openly with the police as part of their investigations and continue to do so.

“We are extremely pleased that 30 safeguarding cases were closed some time ago with no criminal findings.

“Where these investigations are ongoing, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”

Police initially stated last week that 22 people had been questioned following the deaths of 14 people, but later stated that those numbers were incorrect.

The series of deaths and injuries reported at care homes across the county led to the formation last December of a campaign group known as HACA - Harmed in Adult Care Alliance.

It is being spearheaded by Martyn Lewis and Mark Bates who are seeking answers into how two of their relatives were seriously injured while living at Beech Lodge Care Home in Guildford Road, Horsham.

Martyn’s brother Gary and Mark’s son Matthew each suffered broken legs in separate incidents at the home on the same day.