INSPECTORS visiting a home after an allegation of physical abuse witnessed verbal abuse during their visit.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited Sutton Court in Worthing following an allegation for which a care worker has now been arrested and charged.

The home was placed into special measures by the CQC after inspectors later visited and witnessed verbal abuse with another staff member eventually suspended, they said.

When The Argus phoned the home for comment on this story, the person who answered hung up.

The residential care home in Chesswood Road provides personal care for ten people and was visited by the Care Quality Commission in late June.

Its report, published last week, outlined key failings in the service with inspectors giving the home an “inadequate” rating – the lowest possible.

During the inspection, the CQC observed a “safeguarding concern,” which was also witnessed by staff.

However, the staff members did not report this to their manager “because it was not recognised as abuse”.

The registered manager had to be reminded by inspectors that the event must be reported to the local authority safeguarding team.

The provider of the service then suspended the staff member.

The CQC report stated the original alleged safeguarding concern that had triggered the inspection had also not been reported by staff who had witnessed it.

Inspectors found that the care provider had failed to ensure that all managers and staff recognised and reported abuse or restrictive practices.

They also found governance processes were not effective and did not always keep people safe, protect their human rights and provide good quality care and support.

The Argus rang the home so it could respond to the inspectors’ findings. After we introduced ourselves, the line went dead.

When we rang back moments later, the home said: “I put the phone down on you. If you’re calling up to speak about the home, we do not want to speak to you.


When asked about the alleged physical abuse incident prior to the inspection, Sussex Police said: “Police investigating an allegation of ill-treatment of an adult male resident at a care home in Chesswood Road, Worthing on June 20 have charged a woman.

“Sona Mertova, 47, a residential care worker, of Western Place, Heene, Worthing, has been charged with assault by beating and with ill-treatment of a resident as a care worker, and is due to appear at Worthing Magistrates Court on September 21.”