Care provider fined £200,000 after elderly resident left on floor with broken hip
A care provider has been fined £200,000 after an elderly resident was left on the floor with a hip injury for up to two hours in the middle of the night, the care watchdog said.
Elli Figgins was found on her bedroom floor at 4.10am after a resident alerted staff to her cries for help, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said.
The 89-year-old had entered Curzon House care home in Saltney, near Chester (pictured), earlier that day for respite care.
Mrs Figgins was taken to hospital with a broken hip, where she received surgery, but died a week later in a hospice.
Her death certificate cited the injuries she suffered as a contributing factor, the CQC said.
It said the company which runs the home, Vivo Care Choices Limited, admitted failing to provide safe care and treatment, exposing Mrs Figgins to “significant risk of avoidable harm”.
It was fined £200,000 at Chester Magistrates’ Court on Friday, and ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge and £19,305.94 costs, the regulator added.
Mrs Figgins had vascular dementia, osteoporosis, poor vision, hearing loss, and a condition affecting her balance, and was known to leave her bed up to eight times in a night to use the toilet.
Her main carer, her daughter, gave care home staff her documented medical conditions and information when she was admitted on June 2 2017.
But the CQC said no assessment of her needs was undertaken and staff did not put in place a plan to monitor her overnight.
There was no use of motion sensors to monitor her while she was alone, or safety mats to cushion a fall, and she was not able to use the call bell she had been given.
On the evening of June 2 she was checked by staff just after 10pm and again just after 2am.
It is not known how long she had been on the floor when she was discovered at 4.10am after a resident alerted staff, but it may have been up to two hours.
The prosecution was brought by the CQC, which said it hopes it will remind providers that they must “always ensure people’s safety”.
Sue Howard, CQC deputy chief inspector for adult social care, said: “This is a distressing case and my sympathies are with everyone affected by Elli Figgins’ death.
“Mrs Figgins had every right to expect safe care at Curzon House.
“Vivo Care Choices Limited has a specific legal duty to ensure care and treatment is provided safely at the home, but it failed to implement basic measures, such as motion sensors and safety mats, to mitigate the known risk of her falling.
“The majority of care providers do an excellent job.
“However, when a provider puts people in its care at risk of harm, we take action to hold it to account and protect people.”
A spokesman for Vivo Care Choices said: “Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Adult Safeguarding Unit immediately carried out a thorough investigation. Vivo and the council took the decision to suspend the service for new admissions and put together a joint improvement plan.”
He added: “Vivo and the council have worked hard to improve the service and a brand-new Leadership team was put in place across Vivo as a whole to take the organisation forward.
“Vivo has been on a continuous journey of improvement over the last three years, with all seven services regulated by the CQC now rated as ‘good’.
“Curzon House was rated ‘good’ by the CQC in June 2018, including ‘good’ ratings for categories about being both ‘safe’ and ‘effective’, highlighting the improvements made to the service on the back of the incident.
“We are deeply sorry for this incident. We have learned from the errors that led to it and have put appropriate measures in place at Curzon House since.”
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