Chilton Care Homes has been ordered to pay more than £100,000 due to the death of an 89-year-old resident at on of its homes in Suffolk.
On November 14 2013, the elderly resident was being hoisted by two carers from her bed to a chair when she slipped through the sling and fell to the floor. She suffered a broken right femur and fractured ribs but due to poor health could only be treated with palliative care until she died on 23 November 2013.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Chilton Care Homes Ltd did not have adequate health and safety arrangements in place to ensure users could be hoisted safely. Furthermore, there was no manual handling policy setting out the arrangements for moving residents safely.
According to the HSE, individual moving and handling risk assessments, and lifting plans, were “inadequate because they failed to provide specific information about the equipment to be used”.
This resulted in some residents being hoisted with the wrong type or size of sling. Nurses and carers had not received suitable training and several slings were found to be unsafe to use. They had not been inspected prior to use and had not been thoroughly examined in the previous six months. The investigation also found that disposable slings were being washed and then reused.
Chilton Care Homes has been fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £50,268.52.
“The company failed to put in place robust arrangements to ensure that residents could be hoisted safely,” said HSE inspector Saffron Turnell.
“Care providers must ensure that each resident has an individual lifting plan that records the size and type of sling to be used for each type of transfer and how it should be attached to the hoist. The plans should be communicated to nurses and care workers who have received appropriate training to carry out the activities safely. Detailed guidance can be found on HSE’s website which care providers should review to ensure that they are complying with their legal health and safety responsibilities.”