Tuesday 20 November 2018
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Leeds-based care provider fined over resident's fall death

A care provider has been fined £190,000 after a disabled nursing home resident died following a fall.

Kevin McNally, who had Down's Syndrome, epilepsy, dementia and a severe learning disability, fell from a shower chair breaking his neck in April 2015.

The 62-year-old had lived at the nursing home at Smithies Moor Lane, Birstall, West Yorkshire, since 2012.

The home's owners, St Anne's Community Services, said it was "deeply saddened" by Mr McNally's death.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), who brought the prosecution, said the death had been entirely avoidable.

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'Accept the outcome'

Bradford Magistrates' Court was told two care workers had gone to Mr McNally's bedroom to help him take a shower using a commode chair.

He injured himself as he fell forward whilst loosely strapped in. Attempts to resuscitate him failed and he was pronounced dead in hospital.

Jenny Ashworth, prosecuting, said the risk of people being injured because safety belts were not used or adjusted correctly was well known.

She said the provider had failed to ensure staff knew how to the fit the straps safely and had not carried out effective audits of equipment.

St Anne's Community Services pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to provide safe care and treatment under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 Regulations.

Chief executive Derek Bray said: "We fully accept the outcome and have taken our responsibilities in relation to the provision of care for vulnerable people very seriously indeed."

He said since Mr McNally's death the CQC had carried out checks at the unit on Smithies Moor Lane and rated the services as "good".