A care home on the edge of Horsham - where residents were said to be ‘at risk of harm’ - has been slated as ‘inadequate’ by health regulators.
The Care Quality Commission has now placed Rapkyns Care Centre - also known as The Grange - in Guildford Road, Broadbridge Heath, in ‘special measures.’
The care centre is one of nine care homes in and around Horsham run by Sussex Health Care which is currently at the centre of a police investigation following the deaths of 13 people.
In a report out this week, the Care Quality Commission said inspectors found that some residents at Rapkyns, which looks afer up to 41 people with learning and physical disabilities, including autism, were not cared for properly.
They said: “People were not safe and were at risk of avoidable harm.”
A significant number had swallowing difficulties and were at risk of choking. In one instance a person whose care plan stated they needed a pureed diet was given pieces of chocolate.
Another person had been admitted to hospital with constipation, and another who suffered with epilepsy was at risk of receiving an oversose of medication.
Five other people had been admitted to hospital with chest infections during a four-month period.
Another person’s medicines were being given to them disguised in food and drink and without their knowledge or consent.
And in another instance, a person who needed to have their fluid intake monitored was known to have “regularly drank bath water every day.”
The inspectors also said that “the high use of agency staff increased the risk of things going wrong.●” Staff also received insufficient training in some roles.
They added: “There were widespread and significant shortfalls in people’s care, support and outcomes. Some regulations were not met.”
A spokesman for Sussex Health Care said: “We are extremely disappointed with the CQC’s findings. Providing the highest-quality care for those we look after and support for their families is our utmost priority.
“We are investing heavily in all our services, ensuring we can continually improve the levels of services we provide to the local community.
“A service improvement plan, which has been developed with the input of the management and staff team, has been put in place to progress aspects identified in the inspection.
“We are liaising closely with those we support and their families to allay any concerns they may have and working with them on how we are developing the service.”