BUPA Care Homes (BNH) Ltd has been fined £150k following a prosecution by the HSE after a pensioner died at a nursing home in Birmingham.
Mrs O’Callaghan died after being strangled by a lap belt when she was left strapped in a wheelchair overnight. Staff at the company’s Amberley Court Nursing Home did not properly check on Mrs O’Callaghan, leaving her in a wheelchair in her room rather than helping her to bed. Her body was discovered the next morning by a member of staff.
An HSE investigation into safety standards at the home following Mrs O’Callaghan’s death found more than 15 failings in her treatment.
The court heard that the home had failed to carry out a proper risk assessment and care plan for Mrs O’Callaghan’s stay, did not communicate her needs to staff, failed to ensure she could call for help and did not monitor whether night time checks were carried out. HSE inspectors also identified more than ten further potential hazards that put residents at risk, ranging from a cluttered corridor to dirty conditions.
BNH pleaded guilty to two breaches of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974; one charge focused on the issues most closely connected to Mrs O’Callaghan’s death, and the other related to the potential hazards for the other residents.
BNH was also ordered to pay £150k in costs.