Company director Mohammed Zarook and the company which owned the Meppershall Care Home, GA Projects, were prosecuted following an incident in August 2010 when a resident, May Ward, fell from a hoist as she was being moved between a chair and a bed by two carers. The carers had failed to position Mrs Ward securely in the sling which resulted in the fall. Instead of calling for help immediately, the carers put her in bed and waited a further 40 minutes before calling for help. Mrs Ward was then taken to hospital by ambulance but died the following day having sustained multiple fractures to her skull, hip and knee.
The subsequent investigation found that the carers, who were from China and Bulgaria, had a poor command of English and had not been trained in the correct use of the hoist. The HSE also found that Mr Zarook, who had had no knowledge or experience of running care homes, proceeded to take vulnerable residents into the home without fulfilling his health and safety obligations. The HSE served five improvement notices regarding various deficiencies at the home. During this investigation the HSE discovered that another resident had fallen whilst being moved from her wheelchair to an arm chair in September 2009 causing her to sustain fractures to her tibia and fibula, but that incident had not been reported to the HSE. A further six improvement notices were also served on another home run by GA Projects, Tendring Meadows, in relation to deficiencies at that facility.
GA Projects admitted breach of s 3(1) HSWA and was fined £50k with costs of £36,992. Mr Zarook, who admitted that the company’s offence was due to his consent, connivance or neglect (in breach of s 37 HSWA) was fined £150k with costs of £100k.