A care provider has been fined almost £25,000 after an elderly care home resident fell against an uncovered radiator and sustained serious burns.
Kathleen Walters, 79, came into prolonged contact with the uncovered radiator when she fell in her room at the Manor House Residential Home, in Morden, south London, in November 2015.
Mrs Walters – who suffered burns to 7% of her body and needed skin grafts – was found at 8.20am, having last been seen at 7.10am.
An avoidable accident
On Wednesday, February 1, prosecutor Jenny Ashworth told Highbury Magistrates’ Court that the accident was avoidable because evidence suggests Mrs Walters would not have been burned had the radiator been covered.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) brought the prosecution against registered care providers, Dudley and Helene Sessford saying the couple failed in their duty of care.
The CQC says the husband and wife team failed to provide safe care and treatment which has resulted in “avoidable” harm to Mrs Walters, who is known to be at “high risk” of falling over.
Debbie Ivanova, CQC’s deputy chief inspector of adult social care, said: “This incident was entirely avoidable.
“The risk of people sustaining serious burns from uncovered radiators is something all care homes should be aware of.”
A warning to others
The Sessfords pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to provide safe care and treatment resulting in avoidable harm, the CQC said.
They have been ordered to pay £24,600 in fines and costs.
Ms Ivanova said: “When serious incidents occur, we now have additional powers to hold providers to account in the courts.
“In future, if we find that a care provider has put people in its care at risk of harm, we will always consider using those powers to the full to prosecute those who are responsible.”
Source: Wimbledon Guardian