A fine has been handed to a nursing home – now in liquidation – after a woman who lived there suffered 9% burns, directly contributing to her death a month later.
Greencroft Nursing Home in Aston in Queensferry, was prosecuted after one of its residents, Beatrice ‘Betty’ Morgan, suffered the burn injury when she was lowered into a scalding hot bath.
The 88-year-old, who was lowered into the bath tub with a hoist, was raised out again as soon as she screamed out in pain.
But an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that staff at the care home had not checked the temperature of the water before she was lowered in.
Miss Morgan, who could not walk, died in hospital a month later as a direct consequence of the injuries she sustained during the scalding incident.
Accident Advice Helpline can pursue compensation under circumstances like this. The incident involving Miss Morgan would have been a case of medical negligence.
Mold Magistrates’ Court heard that the bath had mixing valves fitted to it in order to regulate the temperature of the water but they had not been properly maintained and did not meet the standards required in nursing homes.
The HSE investigation found that, although employees at the care home had been told to check the temperature of the water using a thermometer before baths were given, management failed to fully assess the risks associated with using hot water and insufficient training, instruction and supervision had been offered to staff.
A higher quality of thermostat mixing valve needs to be fixed to hot bath taps for the purposes of bathing a vulnerable resident and this needs to be maintained on a regular basis.
The nursing home pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations and was fined £5,000. The judge said the fine would have been significantly higher – £100,000 at least – if the company had not been in liquidation.
Date Published: September 30, 2014
Author: David Brown