Posted: Fri 26th Sep 2014

Greencroft Nursing Home Directors fined after resident lowered in scalding bath died from burns

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Sep 26th, 2014

Directors of a Deeside nursing home have been fined after breaching Health and Safety rules. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Vulnerable pensioner Beatrice ‘Betty’ Morgan a resident at Greencroft Nursing Home in Aston, Queensferry, died of complications caused by her injuries a month after the incident, on 29 August 2012. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Mold Magistrates’ Court was told yesterday,  Miss Morgan a former hospital matron, unable to walk was lowered into a bath by staff using a hoist, she had cried when she touched the water. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

She suffered 9% burns, despite being quickly raised from the water,  Miss Morgan later died at Whiston Burns Unit. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Greencroft Care Ltd of Larch Avenue, Aston, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £5,000. The judge at the hearing said if the firm had not been in liquidation, he would have sent the case to crown court, where the fine would have been at least £100,000. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The HSE found the temperature of the water not properly controlled with no way of preventing it exceeding 44C. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Mixing valves were later fitted to control the temperature but had not been maintained and were not suitable standard required for nursing homes. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The court was told how the care home had no effective control over the temperature of the hot water, no risk assessment’s had been carried out, and there had been very little staff training. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Although staff had been instructed to check water temperature with a thermometer before baths, no checks were made by management to ensure this was happening. There had been a failure by the company to fully assess risks involving use of hot water and to provide sufficient training, instruction and supervision to staff. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Prosecutor Simon Parrington said Miss Morgan suffered scald burns to her lower legs, trunk and left arm. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Katherine Walker from the HSE said: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

This tragic incident could easily have been avoided if Greencroft had observed the readily available guidance on bathing vulnerable people. The company fell well short of the desired standards. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Miss Morgan suffered a great deal of unnecessary pain before her death. Nursing homes and other organisations caring for vulnerable people must make sure they fit and maintain the right kind of mixer on hot bath taps and properly supervise their staff. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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