Care Homes - two recent deaths due to health and safety failings

Published: 14 Jul 2016

Care homes have been in the news recently with two preventable fatalities occuring.

The first case involves a care home based in Middlesex. The premise was fined £100,000 plus £50,000 costs for an incident occurring in 2011.

An elderly resident of a Surrey home was receiving care from two employees of European Healthcare Group Plc. The resident died from scalding injuries resulting from the bathroom taps not being adjusted to limit the temperature of the water to a safe level.

The HSE’s investigation into the incident, found that while the company had policies and procedures in place, they were deficient. The company failed to effectively communicate information and instruction to its staff so that the control measures could be implemented effectively.

This fatality could have been avoided if the company procedures, risk assessments and safe system of work were correctly managed.

In the second case, occuring in November 2012,  a care home has admitted safety breaches after a resident, with severe dementia, died following a fall from a fire escape staircase.

George Chicken, 76, wandered through a first floor fire escape door at Rose Court Lodge in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. He died in hospital 48 hours later.

The court heard how Mr Chicken, who had undergone hip and knee replacements, was often confused, anxious and unsteady, and was known to wander around the home and had previously pushed open fire exit doors to get out.

Embrace All Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to ensure residents were not exposed to risks to health and safety.

Manager Amanda Dean of Ambergate, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable care of persons affected by her work.

The defendants will be sentenced in September.

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