A healthcare firm and its managing director have between them been fined over £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £136,000 after the death of one of the residents in its care.
Luton Crown Court heard how May Ward, a 100 year-old resident died as a result of injuries sustained when she fell from a hoist while being moved from her bed to her chair at the Meppershall Care Home.
When the Health and Safety Executive looked in to the case they found that while Mrs Ward was being moved between a bed and a chair, she had slipped from the hoist being used, and fallen to the floor. The HSE established that the two carers assisting Mrs Ward had been employed by the company (GA Projects Ltd) for less than one year. The sling used to transport the patient was particularly complicated to fit properly, and the two carers had been given no training in how to use it safely. In addition, the sling was not the type recommended by Central Bedfordshire Council as being suitable for Mrs Ward’s medical conditions.
The Court heard that this was not the first time that serious safety breaches had been observed at the Meppershall home. Another resident had fallen a few years previously whilst being moved from a wheel chair to an arm chair. In addition, the HSE had served five improvement notices to the home relating to deficiencies in resident handling, risk assessment and a lack of competent health and safety advice.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Emma Page said: “Mrs Ward’s death was a wholly preventable tragedy caused by unacceptable management failings on the part of GA Projects Ltd and Mr Zarook. They put vulnerable residents at the care home at unnecessary risk. Working in a care home is a specialised job, which involves dealing with vulnerable people. Care homes must ensure that they have the correct training in place for all their employees, and that they work to adequately assess and mitigate all possible risks, so far as is reasonably practicable. Moving and handling is a particularly important issue in the healthcare sector and every year vulnerable people suffer injuries caused by poor moving and handling practice.”
If you or someone you love has suffered any kind of injury while under the care of a care home, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Our solicitors have years of experience in handling cases like these so contact us today and find out if we can help you get the pay out you deserve.