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Wednesday 28 September 2016
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Probe into residents' deaths sees care home closed

A Southampton care home has been shut down amid inquiries into the deaths of six elderly residents.

The Briars Retirement Home in Bitterne Park was raided by police and council staff on September 17 after allegations of neglect and ill-treatment.

The death of resident 81-year-old resident Ronald Reed from natural causes at Southampton General Hospital on August 9 prompted concerns over care at the home. The police probe has since focused on six residents' deaths over the last few years.

The owner of the 34-room home, Annette Hopkins, has denied any allegations of neglect and said: "There are always two sides to the story.

"I cannot stand here and say we are the best thing since sliced bread when we have these people (the police) in the home. Everybody makes mistakes."

The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) obtained an urgent order from Southampton Magistrates' Court on September 26 to shut down the care home.

The order cancels the registration of the privately-owned home which means it can no longer legally operate.

It follows a CSCI inspection that took place after police started to investigate which found some of the residents needed urgent nursing care.

Amanda Sherlock, CSCI regional director for the south east, said: "The Commission seeks an urgent cancellation order only when it considers people to be at serious risk."

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