Sussex Police announced in August that they are investigating the care homes following claims that 43 people were neglected, including 12 who have died.

The families of Matthew Bates and Gary Lewis told the BBC’s Today programme that the two men suffered fractured thighs while residents at Beech Lodge in 2015. However, neither case is part of the current Sussex Police investigation.

The two incidents were investigated by West Sussex County Council and the police at the time. The safeguarding inquiry by the council criticised Sussex Health Care and concluded the fractures were likely to have been caused when the men were rolled or turned.

Neither of the men were returned to Beech Lodge after their injuries were treated.

In a statement to the BBC, Sussex Health Care said:

"Both cases were subject to comprehensive safeguarding investigations at the time, involving the county and the police. We co-operated fully with those investigations, which found no evidence of poor handling or any other wrongdoing."

Beech Lodge is one of nine care homes being investigated by Sussex Police who have said that they are examining the standard of care since April 2015 in a number of individual cases.

When announcing the investigation in August the force said the investigation is “seeking to determine whether care standards fell to a criminal level of neglect, ill-treatment or negligence.”

Merry Varney, solicitor in the human rights team at Leigh Day, said:

“The allegations under investigation are very serious and concern vulnerable members of our society. It is important that all concerns raised by residents and their families are considered by the Sussex Police so that systemic failings are identified and addressed.

“The concerns raised by the experts, reported to the BBC, must be fully considered otherwise more people may remain at risk of serious, avoidable injuries.”