When adult care hurts...
HACA (West Sussex) was formed following a series of high-profile cases in the county - in which vulnerable people were seriously injured and even died. There seems to be a particular issue in West Sussex in respect of care safety, but we hope other areas will also form HACA groups to promote good care and establish powerful local voices on behalf of the vulnerable.
But the Alliance is for everyone who has concerns about the standard of care their relatives have received in West Sussex - whether they receive funding or are a self-payer. Whether someone has been subject to abuse or whether you are concerned about the care being given. You will be among friends.
A HACA spokesperson said: ‘You may feel let down by the supposed care organisations, agencies and other professionals or you may feel alone and isolated, not knowing what to do or how to speak up.
'You will not be judged for not knowing where to turn, or not speaking up before, but you can now help towards securing judgement of those that have harmed others, or who have failed to act appropriately. Please contact HACA (West Sussex).'
HACA Founding Members
Mark Bates and Martyn Lewis
Martyn Lewis and Mark Bates are at the forefront of moves to create HACA. Their dogged fight for justice for their brother, Gary, and son, Matthew, respectively
eventually led to a damning report on the role of West Sussex’s care agencies. Both of the injured men, who have severe disabilities, had been resident in a Sussex Healthcare Home near Horsham.
They said: ‘Clearly the agencies did not learn sufficiently from the sad events at Orchid View in 2010 and other events before that. The full media spotlight is now on the historic and sadly continuing problems in adult care within West Sussex.
‘The culture appears flawed and continues to support and protect those that conduct themselves badly and cause harm. We believe that if the agencies in West Sussex had taken our concerns seriously in 2015, and taken proper and effective action, the numerous deaths and other injuries that are currently under police investigation would have been prevented.’
OVRAG has worked tirelessly since 2013, to seek improvement in social care outcomes in West Sussex. Members of the group first came together in September 2013 during an inquest into the Southern Cross-owned ‘Orchid View’ care home in Copthorne, near Crawley West Sussex.
This exposed extensive neglect and poor care within the home, which contributed to deaths attributed to neglect. OVRAG made a positive contribution to the findings of the Serious Case Review report in 2014, which revealed the failure of agencies to act upon numerous concerns and alerts raised by resident's families and friends dating back to 2010.
OVRAG has continued to work with, and challenge authorities when required, to try and ensure that residents in care homes are better and more effectively protected. We support any initiative that brings together those impacted by adult social care issues across West Sussex - to share experiences for the greater good of all going forward.
Ian Jerome, Judith Charatan & Lesley Lincoln of The Orchid View Relatives Action Group
Valerie Tilley was close to her son Adrian. Sadly, Valerie died in 2016, in a Sussex Health Care home near Horsham in West Sussex.
Adrian said: 'The circumstances surrounding the death of my mum and 12 others are the subject of an ongoing police investigation of Sussex Healthcare.
'In the months that followed my mum’s death I became aware of many other families that have suffered the loss of loved ones at the West Sussex based care home 'Orchid View' in 2010, I am also in contact with the families of the two men with learning disabilities that were seriously injured at a Sussex Healthcare home in 2015.
‘I support this initiative and ask that you contact the Alliance if your loved ones have experienced harm within any care home in West Sussex at any time in the past. This will enable those families and carers affected to share information more easily, provide support to each other in obtaining much needed answers, and enable those that cause or cover up harm to be exposed and brought to justice.’