UK Care Home Negligence

BUPA Fined for Fatal Accident

Posted on: June 5th, 2016 by Medical Negligence

The nationwide healthcare company have been issued a six-figure fine for negligence that lead to the death of an elderly care home resident.

Josephine Millard, a ninety-one year-old resident if the Beacon Edge Care Home in Penrith, was found dead in her room on the morning of the 24th September 2013. Josephine’s tragic death was caused by a fall from bed, and after an investigation into the death conducted by the Health and Safety Executives, it transpired that – despite the company’s policy concerning bedrail safety – a pressure sensor that would have alerted staff to the fall from bed had been turned off.

However, this was not the only failing of the BUPA-run care home. The investigation also found that staff had not been adequately trained in bedrail use and safety, and that the required safety checks were not done regularly. It was also found that the facility had a general lack of appropriate “care and support for people with dementia type illnesses” .

BUPA Care Homes (CFC Homes) Ltd were prosecuted for their negligence under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 9 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. Earlier this year, at the the Carlisle Magistrates’ Court, the healthcare company admitted their guilt to all of the charges.

The case proceeded to the Carlisle Crown Court for sentencing. Last month, the judges ordered BUPA to pay a £400,000 fine for their negligence. The company were then ordered to pay £15,206 in prosecution costs.

HSE Inspector Carol Forster commented after the hearing 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”.