News | ‘Inadequate’ care firm fined

A care home operator has been fined after Health & Safety breaches came to light following a resident’s fall from a stairlift.

An investigation by Lancaster City Council found staff had failed to strap the elderly resident in properly. The 85-year old had:

  • not been strapped into the stairlift at the time of the incident
  • been left unattended without a lap belt in place

Widespread failings

Investigators found ‘a high level of complacency’ towards Health & Safety law.

The council said residents were put at risk by ‘widespread failings’ including:

  • poor management
  • lack of safe systems of work
  • inadequate staffing
  • poor training
  • poor Health & Safety culture
  • cost cutting

The Care Quality Commission had raised concerns about resident’s care and welfare after an unannounced inspection – it rated the home ‘inadequate’.

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Timely reminder  

Calderdean Ltd accepted it failed to discharge a general Health & Safety duty to non-employees.

It pleaded guilty to breaking the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was ordered to pay:

  • fine of £142,500
  • costs of £26,297

The council said the ‘conviction and financial penalty should act as a timely reminder and warning to all businesses of the need to take their responsibilities seriously’.

The Gazette, the UK’s official public record, reports Calderdean Ltd is now in liquidation.

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Nick Wilson

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