Bupa fined for care home failings

Bupa was fined £90,000 yesterday for health and safety failings that contributed to a 95-year-old care home resident slipping from a hoist. The woman subsequently died in hospital.

Charlotte Wood slipped from a hoist and fractured her shoulder at Abbotsleigh Mews Residential and Nursing Home in Sidcup, south east London, on 28 November 2003, and died from pneumonia four days later while waiting for an operation.

She was being helped by a care assistant who had not received training and had not previously used the type of hoist.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that care assistants at the home were not being informed about procedures for manual handling and safe bathing, and management supervision of staff carrying out lifts was inadequate.

After the fall, the care home manager resigned, the carer involved was dismissed and another was disciplined.

Bupa pleaded guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was ordered to pay almost £20,000 in costs.

Wood’s son, on behalf of the family, expressed their relief at the result.

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