Sussex Health Care: Residents moved from 'safety risk' care home

image captionOrchard Lodge is one of nine homes being investigated by Sussex Police

A council is moving residents out of a care home under police investigation, but a family has objected and the company has said the move is unlawful.

Nine care homes run by Sussex Health Care are being investigated by police amid claims of neglect.

One is Orchard Lodge, for people with physical and learning disabilities.

West Sussex council said it was moving four people out of Orchard Lodge after a "further risk assessment", but Sussex Health Care said it was unwarranted.

'Family not consulted'

Sussex Police are investigating allegations of lack of care and safeguarding of 43 care home residents, 12 of whom have since died.

Sean Ridley told the BBC his family refused to let his brother be moved.

image captionSean Ridley said his brother's family were not consulted about the move

He said social workers arrived at the home with an ambulance and removal van, but there was a standoff and his brother stayed.

"Why would a local authority go against the wishes of a family with no consultation? We had no meeting and we've still had no meeting," Mr Ridley said.

In a statement, West Sussex County Council said: "The county council's decision follows a further risk assessment of the clinical care and safety being provided for these individuals."

It said all four people had been found alternative places locally.

Sussex Health Care accused the council of "causing unnecessary and very significant distress to vulnerable people" and said several families were challenging the decision.

A spokesman said: "We have sought to work openly and transparently with the county, with the best interests of residents at the forefront of what we do.

"We are shocked and exceptionally disappointed that the county has seemingly arbitrarily chosen to undermine that hard work, and we are working with all responsible agencies to bring this to a resolution."

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