Tag Archives: Manual handling training

Moving and Handling News

Former Care Home Group Prosecuted after Death of 76 year old Resident

A former care home group that went into administration in July 2011 were prosecuted in late spring of this year following the death of a resident in their care.

Mrs Barbara Kilty who was a 76 year old mother of six died in Stoke Mandeville Hospital 17 days after she had slipped from her wheelchair shortly after she had been transferred from her bed using a hoist.

The Ashbourne Group UK Ltd which were part of the Southern Cross Healthcare group were the owners of the Lakeside Care Centre in Aylesbury at the time of the incident on 25th December 2010.The centre is now in the hands of new owners.

Aylesbury Crown court were told that Mrs Kitty who had been a resident at the Lakeside Care Centre for more than three years slipped from her wheelchair following a hoisting transfer. She broke her hip as a result but the incident went unreported within the care home.

Ten days after the incident Mrs Kilty was sent for an x-ray after she had continued to show distress on being moved by staff.

Seventeen days after the fall Mrs Kilty was eventually taken into hospital care for an operation to correct the fracture but sadly she died shortly after the operation whilst still in hospital.

The court heard how the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) investigation found that the risk assessment, equipment and procedures for safer moving and handling within the care home were not suited to the needs of an immobile resident such as Mrs Kilty. The care home group were found to be in breach of section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The presiding Judge Mr Laird QC said “The company are in liquidation and have no assets. Any fine the court could impose would therefore be meaningless. The standards at Lakeside Care Home were woefully inadequate. Had Ashbourne Group UK Ltd still been trading I would have imposed a fine of £100.00. However because the company has no assets I impose a nominal fee of £1.”

After the hearing the HSE inspector Emma Rowlands said “This was an entirely avoidable incident involving a frail and vulnerable lady. Ashbourne Group UK Ltd should have made sure that equipment appropriate to the needs of Mrs Kitty was provided. If anything positive is to come out of this very sad incident, it is other employers take note and be aware that the HSE will not hesitate to take action against those who fall so far below the required standards. Each year a significant number of incidents are reported involving people being injured while being moved with hoisting equipment.”

Mrs Kilty’s daughters added “We are very angry and upset that yet another care home didn’t care. Our mother passed away through negligence on the part of Southern Cross. We would like to thank the Health and Safety Executive for pursuing this case.”


Moving and Handling News People Handling

Large Care Home Group Fined after Death of Elderly Resident Following a Fall

A large UK-based care home group has been fined £57,000 after an elderly resident in their care died when she fractured her neck in a fall during a manual handling transfer. The company pleaded guilty late last year in a Scottish court of breaching section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act, 1974 which led to the fatal injury of an 88 year old female resident.

On the morning of 22nd October 2008 a carer in the home was in the process of assisting the resident with her undressing as well as transferring her from her bed to her shower chair when the resident fell to the floor. The carer, who had very recently taken up employment within the home, was unaware that a care plan and manual handling assessment stated that two people were required to transfer the resident.

The care home group admitted that they had failed to review and update the risk assessment for the resident and had also failed to provide adequate training and instruction as well as staff supervision for those workers within the home who were expected to undertake people handling activities.

The resident had been at the care home for over ten years when she was taken to the local hospital for emergency treatment following the fall. She died the next day from her injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation indicated that the residents care plan and safe system of work assessment had not been updated when there had been changes to her mobility. These documents stated incorrectly that one member of staff was required where other documents pertaining to her care indicated there was a requirement for two staff to assist with manual transfers.

The court heard that staff relied on consulting their colleagues about resident’s manual handling needs rather than reading the care plans and risk assessments. The carer present when the resident fell had not been given sufficient instruction and had not been adequately supervised in relation to manual handling activities.

The HSE Principal Inspector Barry Baker said “Care homes have a responsibility to look after their residents who are often vulnerable and not able to look after themselves. In this case the standard of care provided …fell below acceptable levels with tragic consequences.”

“This is not an isolated incident and every year there are numerous residents who suffer serious injuries as a result of a fall in a care home. To help avoid similar incidents it is crucial that care providers ensure they have thorough care plans for their residents in place and that their staff are properly trained and supported to make these plans work in practice.”

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