Wednesday 17 October 2018
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Orchid View care scandal coroner to seek public inquiry

A coroner has said she will call for a public inquiry into institutionalised abuse and neglect at a care home, which contributed to at least five deaths.

An inquest into 19 unexplained deaths at Orchid View between 2009 and 2011 found neglect contributed to five.

Relatives of the elderly people who died welcomed the statement from West Sussex Coroner Penny Schofield.

"It's too late for us but we are fighting for a change in the system," said Ian Jerome.

Mr Jerome's father, Bertram, was 93 when he died from an injury sustained at Orchid View, in Copthorne, near Crawley.

"The care system is in a pretty bad way - it is in a mess," he said.

Ms Schofield said she believed the time was right to call for a public inquiry on the day relatives met council and healthcare bosses to discuss progress since a serious case review report was published last year.

The report made 34 recommendations, including that operators must recruit and keep trained staff; relatives should always have a named point of contact; concerns should be escalated if not dealt with properly and that open meetings should be held with relatives.