A coroner has raised concerns after a man choked to death on food in his retirement home.

Alan Lee had been given his dinner in his flat at Abbotswood, a retirement home in Rustington, near Littlehampton, last December.

The 76-year-old was choking on some food and used an alarm to alert staff to his condition.

In a Prevention of Future Deaths report (PFD), published on June 6, Penelope Schofield, senior coroner for West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, said: "The issue of concern is that despite the fact that Mr Lee had recently been given his dinner and there was evidence that some or part of it had been consumed, the staff who attended, following Mr Lee using his alarm, did not appear to consider that he may have been choking.

"Therefore, no life-saving techniques were attempted."

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Ms Schofield concluded the inquest into Mr Lee's death stating he died at the retirement home in Station Road on December 17 before ambulance crews arrived.

In the PFD, which Ms Schofield sent to Saxon Weald which owns the retirement home: "In my opinion action should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe you and/or your organisation have the power to take action to prevent future deaths."

The company must respond within 56 days.

Steven Dennis, chief executive of Saxon Weald, said: "We were saddened to learn of Mr Lee’s death late last year. Whilst Saxon Weald owns and maintains the building, care is provided by Care Outlook who are commissioned by West Sussex County Council.

"We will fully support the council and Care Outlook with any investigation into this case."

A West Sussex County Council spokeswoman said: "The health and wellbeing of people in West Sussex is one of our top priorities. 

"We are aware of the coroner’s report and we have contacted Care Outlook, an independent provider of care services, commissioned by the county council, over what steps they will be taking in response."

Care Outlook was contacted for comment.