Nursing Home Provider Fined £24,000 Following Resident Death

The home, which previously pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe care and treatment, was prosecuted at Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard how the 83-year-old woman was admitted to the home on 25 November 2015 and provided with bed rails and passive infrared sensors because she was at risk of falling from bed.

The woman was found on the morning of 25 December 2016, having died trapped between the bed and bed rails. The infrared sensors failed to activate; a later investigation conducted by the CQC found that the bed rails were also broken at the time of death.

A post mortem revealed that she did not die as a result of the accident but had suffered a heart attack due to severe coronary artery disease.

Prosecuting Counsel Ryan Donoghue, acting for CQC, told the court that the home failed to provide safe care and treatment and exposed the resident and other people in the home, to a significant risk of avoidable harm.

The provider was also found to have failed in their responsibility to ensure that staff had received appropriate training in the safe use of bed rails and to provide a relevant safety policy.

Sue Howard, Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said: “The combination of a lack of the home assessing risk and its poor governance meant that it failed to identify where improvements were needed and ultimately resulted in CQC taking this action.”

A spokesperson for the home said: “We fully acknowledges that in this instance our systems and process were not sufficient, which is far from good enough. We have learnt from this and introduced changes to procedures to ensure, this does not repeat itself. It is so far from what we want to achieve and what we strive for. We would never want a situation where people are put at risk of harm and we apologise unreservedly.

“We are fully committed to provide the very best services for people. We have learnt from this experience and the incident which happened in December 2016, and have put in place a number of measures to ensure this cannot happen again.”

“This is reflected in our ‘good’ rating for the home from the Care and Quality Commission and with their support, the support of our residents, their families and carers, our staff and other partners we will continue striving towards achieving excellence and providing the very best, safest care we can.”

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