Injury Compensation News

Health Company Fined for Nursing Home Death

June 3, 2016

BUPA, a prominent healthcare company, has been ordered to pay a six-figure fine for breaches of health and safety regulations that resulted in the death of an elderly woman. 

A nationwide health organisation have been issued a six-figure fine by the Carlisle Crown Court for negligence that lead to the death of an elderly resident. 

The resident in question, Josephine Millard, was found dead on the 24th September 2013 at the Beacon Edge care home in Penrith. She was found lying beside her bed, having fallen out during the night, in spite of bedrails that had been in place. However, an investigation into the death at the BUPA-owned care home revealed that a pressure sensor that would have altered staff to Josephine’s accident had not been activated. 

The investigation, which was conducted by the Health and Safety Executives, unveiled that the employees at the home had not been trained in bedrail operation and safety. Additionally, regular reviews and safety checks were not carried out as required by health and safety regulations, and it was noted that there was a general failure at the home to provide care for  “care and support for people with dementia type illnesses”, which would mean the standard of care received by Josephine did not ensure her safety. 

For their breaches of  Regulation 9 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, BUPA Care Homes (CFC Homes) Ltd were prosecuted by the HSE. Earlier this year, the company  plead guilty to the charges at the Carlisle Magistrates’ Court. 

The case proceeded to the Carlisle Crown Court for the passing of a sentence. The court ordered the negligent company to pay a £400,000 fine for their breaches of health and safety laws, as well as £15,206 in prosecution costs. 

HSE Inspector Carol Forster commented upon the announcement of the sentence that “The need for adequate risk assessment and management of third party bedrails has been recognised in the healthcare sector for a number of years. In this case there was a lack of appropriate assessment of the residents’ changing needs and review of the control measures in place to protect her. The measures that were in place were not used correctly in that the sensor pad which would have alerted staff to the resident’s being out of bed was not switched on.”

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