Nursing home provider fined £24,000 following resident’s death


A Hartlepool nursing home provider has been fined £24,000 and ordered to pay £14,000 costs following the death of an 83-year-old woman.

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

Prosecuting Counsel Ryan Donoghue, acting for CQC, told the court that The Hospital of God at Greatham 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 court heard how the 83-year-old woman, who was admitted to Gretton Court on November 25, 2015, was provided with bed rails and passive infrared sensors due to her being at risk of falling from her bed. The provider was found to have failed to ensure that staff responsible for the safe use of bed rails had received appropriate training and a relevant safety policy was not available.

Investigations by the CQC found that the bed rails were also broken during the time of the woman’s death.

The woman was found on the morning of Christmas Day 2016 having passed away trapped between the bed and bed rails with the infrared sensors having failed to activate. A post mortem revealed that the woman had not died as a result of the accident, however, but had suffered a heart attack due to severe coronary artery disease.

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 Hospital of God said: “The Hospital of God 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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