New warning issued to company running ‘inadequate’ care home near Horsham

The  site of Orchard Lodge in Warnham
The site of Orchard Lodge in Warnham

A new warning has been spelled out to the operators of a village care home which has been rated ‘inadequate’ by health regulators for the fifth time.

Orchard Lodge in Dorking Road, Warnham - which cares for up to 33 people with complex health needs including learning disabilities - was found to be in breach of health and social care regulations for the fifth time when an unannounced inspection was carried out by the Care Quality Commission in November.

And in a report out this week, the commission said the care home - already in ‘special measures’ - would be ‘kept under review and, if needed, could be escalated to urgent enforcement action.’

The home is operated by Sussex Health Care which runs a string of homes in and around Horsham, nine of which are currently at the centre of a police investigation following the deaths of 13 people.

The commission has again warned the company that it could be stopped from running the home if improvements are not made.

Orchard Lodge was rated ‘inadequate’ in July and November 2017. It was criticised again in January and April 2018 and in its new report out this week it is again rated ‘inadequate’ overall with other of its services ‘requiring improvement.’

The commission’s report states that at its latest inspection “some improvements were seen and acknowledged; but these were not sufficient or widespread enough to improve the final rating.” And that, inspectors said, was

despite some people’s experiences and documentation being better in some areas.

“This is because there was evidence at this inspection that risks to people’s safety remained.”

A spokesperson for Sussex Health Care said: “We are extremely disappointed with the outcome of this inspection. We have made significant improvements at the service and these have been acknowledged by the inspectors both during the inspection and in the report. We are therefore concerned that this has not been recognised or reflected in an improved rating.

“We have lodged our intention to request a review of the rating with the Care Quality Commission.”