‘Safeguarding concerns’ have now led West Sussex County Council to suspend new placements at eight care homes run by Sussex Health Care.
A police investigation was launched and new placements were originally halted at The Laurels care home in Guildford Road, Horsham, and at Orchard Lodge in Dorking Road, Warnham.
This week a spokeswoman for the county council said that the halting of placements had been widened. She said: “New placements are suspended to eight homes run by Sussex Health Care due to safeguarding concerns.”
Last week a report from the health watchdog group - the Care Quality Commission - rated The Laurels as ‘requiring improvement’.
Commission inspectors said that staff there had failed to notify officials of incidents of physical and verbal abuse and intimidation.
The Laurels provides accommodation for adults aged under 65 who have learning or physical disabilities or who need nursing care.
The Care Quality Commission report was published three weeks ago - two days before West Sussex county councillor Peter Catchpole, who is a paid adviser for Sussex Health Care, quit his roles as deputy leader of West Sussex County Council and cabinet member for health.
In the latest commission report, The Laurels is rated as ‘inadequate’ in its leadership and ‘requires improvement’ in areas of safety and effectiveness. It is rated ‘good’ in areas of care and responsiveness.