Care home firm prosecuted after resident fell 4m to her death
A care home company has been fined £450,000 after an 87-year-old resident with dementia fell to her death from a first-floor window at one of its nursing homes.
Guildford Crown Court heard the resident was reported missing in the early hours of 3 October 2013 at the Coppice Lea Nursing home in Surrey run by Caring Homes Healthcare Group Limited. She was discovered two hours later but passed away after falling four metres to the ground.
HSE found the window restrictor, designed to prevent the window from opening fully, was not fit for purpose as it could be easily overridden.
After the case HSE Inspector Rebekah Dunn said: “All windows that are large enough for people to pass through should be restrained sufficiently to prevent such falls. The 100mm benchmark should only be allowed to disengage using a special tool or key.”
Caring Homes Healthcare Group of Essex, which operates over 60 care homes for elderly with over 3,000 beds, pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the HSWA 1974. It was ordered to pay costs of £14,762.44.