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Elderly Care Home Deaths Slammed By Coroner
Neglect contributed to the deaths of five elderly residents at the Orchid View Care Home in West Sussex, a coroner has ruled.
Nineteen elderly residents died after being placed in the home, which was closed down two years ago.
Penelope Schofield, the West Sussex coroner, said there was "institutionalised abuse" at Orchid View, in Copthorne.
Those involved in the neglect should be "ashamed", she said as it was announced a serious case review has been set up.
A five-week inquest heard how some residents were given wrong doses of medication and were left soiled and unattended for long periods of time.
Call bells were also often not answered, nor could they be reached by some elderly residents of the home, which was described as "an accident waiting to happen".
"There was institutionalised abuse throughout the home and it started, in my view, at a very early stage, and nobody did anything about it," Ms Schofield said.
"This, to me, was from the top down. It was completely mismanaged and understaffed and failed to provide a safe environment for residents."
Ms Schofield said it was "disgraceful" that the home was allowed to be run in the way it was for around two years.
She criticised the Care Quality Commission which gave Orchid View a "good" rating in 2010 - a year before it shut.
"I question how this could be the case and I question whether the inspection that did take place was fit for purpose", Ms Schofield added.
She went on: "It's a heart-breaking case. We all have parents who will probably need care in the latter part of their lives."
She said there was further cause for concern that many people employed at Orchid View are still working in the industry.