Revealed: Manager of Britain's cruellest care home Orchid View was put back in charge

Senior staff at scandal-hit home were re-employed at same property

Chief Reporter

A senior manager who oversaw a care home condemned for abuse and neglect that contributed to the deaths of five residents was re-employed to supervise the same property by a new owner, it emerged today.

Sarah O’Mara, who was the regional manager for the Orchid View home in West Sussex before it was closed in 2011 following the discovery of multiple failings, was taken on by another operator – Care UK – after it re-opened the home under a different name last year.

Care UK said that Ms O’Mara, who describes herself on her entry on the LinkedIn website as having “sound commercial judgment delivering profit-driven results”, left the company in the last four days following the devastating findings of an inquest into the deaths of 19 residents.

A second manager employed by Southern Cross, the defunct care giant which ran Orchid View and was condemned by relatives of residents for its corporate culture, has also parted company with Care UK following the inquest. Mark Cash, a former chief operations officer for Southern Cross, was working with Care UK as a regional operations director.

The departures follow stinging criticism last week by West Sussex coroner Penelope Schofield of Southern Cross managers involved with Orchid View after a five-week inquest heard multiple accounts of maltreatment of residents, including failures to treat injuries and medication overdoses.

Ms Schofield said: “This home was, from the top down, completely mismanaged and understaffed and the home failed to provide a safe environment for the residents. Those who did nothing or turned a blind eye should be ashamed.”

The coroner highlighted in particular a loophole in current regulations which means sanctions can only be applied against managers in day-to-day charge of a failing home, allowing other more senior staff to continue to be employed in the care industry.

Sarah O’Mara denied that she failed to make sufficient visits to Orchid View (LinkedIn) Sarah O’Mara denied that she failed to make sufficient visits to Orchid View (LinkedIn)

 

Finding that neglect had played a role in the deaths of five elderly residents at the £3,000-a-month home in Copthorne, near Crawley, Ms Schofield said: “Senior managers involved with Orchid View need to reflect upon the harm that they allowed to happen.”

During her evidence to the inquest, Ms O’Mara denied that she had failed to make sufficient visits to Orchid View. Care UK declined to comment on whether it had scrutinised the previous involvement of Ms O’Mara and Mr Cash with Southern Cross when they were employed earlier this year.

The company took over Orchid View following its closure in 2011 and re-opened it as Francis Court in August 2012. There is no suggestion of any mismanagement at the home under Care UK.

The company said it had begun a review following the inquest findings. In a statement, Care UK said: “Subsequently, both Sarah O’Mara... and Mark Cash... have left the company. Neither now works for Care UK.”

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Sport
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Development Manager (District Heating)

£55000 Per Annum plus company car and bonus scheme: The Green Recruitment Comp...

Lead Hand - QC

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Lead Hand - QCProgressive are recruiting...

Chemical Engineer/Project Coordinator

£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Chemical Eng...

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn