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Expert Lawyers To Represent Five Families At Inquest For Orchid View Nursing Home Residents

Inquest To Investigate Circumstances Of 19 Deaths At Sussex Home


By Dave Grimshaw

Medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell have been instructed by the families of five former residents of a Sussex nursing home that was shut down after police launched an investigation into alleged neglect by staff.

A three-week inquest into the deaths of 19 elderly residents of Orchid View, which was based in Copthorne in Sussex, will begin on 10 September.

The home was closed down late in 2011 after an investigation by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found it had failed to meet eight of their essential standards of quality and safety.

The report said vulnerable residents with dementia were at risk of serious neglect, patients’ dignity was not maintained, and there were major concerns over management of medicine.

Sussex Police said a number of former members of staff were arrested but later released without charge due to insufficient evidence of any criminal wrongdoing.

The inquest is due to run from September 10 to September 27 and will be chaired by West Sussex Coroner Penelope Schofield who will hear evidence from family members, former members of staff, Sussex Police officers, and at least one representative of the CQC.

Irwin Mitchell will represent the families of five former patients, including the loved ones of Jean Halfpenny who died aged 77 after being administered three times her regular dose of the blood thinning drug, Warfarin.

Ian Christian, a Partner and medical law expert at Irwin Mitchell’s London office representing the families, said: “Each of our clients has been left absolutely devastated by these events. They are very keen to hear answers about the standards of care at Orchid View Nursing Home.

“They have many questions about what happened at the home and how their relatives were treated. We hope the inquest can help provide some answers about the failings in management and the regulators who allowed this to happen.

“We welcome the thorough three-week inquest that is set to take place and it has given our clients reassurance that the circumstances of their loss are being investigated appropriately by the Coroner.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Fatal Claims and Inquests.