Care home provider fined £100,000 after teenager’s death

A care home provider has been fined £100,000 over the case of a disabled teenager who died after being lowered into a bath of scalding water.

Yelena Hasselberg-Langley, 18, who had paraplegia and was registered blind, suffered appalling burns when she was placed into the excessively hot bath at the supported live home in Oxford.

She died four days later on 31 August, 2007, at the specialist burns unit at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead.

Lifeways Community Care, which runs the home, pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations.

The Health and Safety Executive, which prosecuted the company, told the court that although the bath had been fitted with a special valve to prevent scalding, this had never been set.

In addition, staff had no training in the risks of scalding and there was no bath thermometer.

Following the incident the company was issued with an improvement notice requiring it to establish proper procedures.

HSE inspector Nina Rudkins said: “Everyone involved with the care of vulnerable service users must ensure that they have the necessary safeguards in place. Cases like this are completely avoidable if the correct guidance is followed.”

The company was also ordered to pay £45,000 costs.

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See also

HSE advice on scalding risks

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