Injury Compensation News

Nursing Home Fined for Death of Resident from Scalding Injury

September 30, 2014

A fine has been issued to the Greencroft Nursing Home in Queensferry, Flintshire after an elderly woman dies after sustaining serious scalding injuries whilst in care at the home.

The incident occurred on the 29th August 2012 after Beatrice Morgan sustained scalding burns at her nursing home, Greencroft Nursing Home, as she was being assisted into her bath. Mrs Morgan alerted the nurses assisting her immediately with screams of agony, and despite the quick actions of the staff, Mrs Morgan still suffered from nine percent burns. She was taken to seek medical attention at Whiston Burns Unit.

However, Mrs Morgan tragically died of complications resulting from her burns. An investigation by the Health Service Executive (HSE) ensured to review the circumstances surrounding the victim’s injuries. The HSE uncovered that the staff failed to adequately control and monitor the water’s temperature such that it did not exceed the safety level of forty-four degrees Celsius. Additionally, no risk assessment was carried out by the nursing home to ensure the safety of those in their care, and the staff lacked the necessary training.

Greencroft Care Ltd were prosecuted by the Health Service Executive for the scalding injury, yet the company had gone out of business by the time the case was to be heard at the Flintshire Magistrate Court. District Judge Gwyn Jones oversaw the hearing, and stated that the standard of care at the former nursing home had fallen below adequate standards.

Despite denying its breach of safety regulations, Greencroft Care Ltd neglected to attend the aforementioned hearing. This did not prevent it being found liable for the scalding injury sustained to one of its residents, and was fines £5,000. However, Judge Jones admitted his doubt that the fine would ever be paid since the shutting down of the company. He also stated that the case would have been sent to the Crown Court had the company not been in liquidation.

HSE Inspector Katherine Walker stated after the hearing that Mrs Morgan’s death from scalding injuries could have been avoided had her nursing home simply practiced established guidelines with regards to the safety of their residents.

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