Asons Warns of Care Home Neglect After Woman’s Death

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Following the unfortunate death of a Buckinghamshire care home resident, the Health and Safety Executive have recently prosecuted the former owners of the Ashbourne Group UK Ltd for ‘serious safety failings’, leading to the 76 year olds fatality [1].

This was an entirely avoidable incident involving a frail and vulnerable lady

After the death of a Buckinghamshire woman, Asons solicitors inquires into the risks of using mobility machinery without proper training, and the legal implications that care home neglect can cause.

According to court documents (2) Mrs Barbara Kilty, who died 25th December 2010, suffered from complications after falling from a hoist intended to move her from her bed to a wheel chair in the care home she had lived for past 3 years. Said documents stated that Mrs Kilty broke her hip as a result of the substantial fall, however the Buckinghamshire care home failed to report the incident (2).

After the initial medical examination, doctors allegedly found no sign of injury, however ten days after the incident; Mrs Kilty was found to still be in considerable pain by her relatives and sent for an x-ray to confirm there was no damage. However the court heard how contrary to the initial consultation, it was found that Mrs Kilty did in fact have a fractured hip, which was causing the substantial pain, yet accouding the court files she wasn’t sent for surgery to rectify the problem until 17 days later. Unfortunately for all involved, Mrs Kilty died shortly after her operation, as explained in the court hearing (2).

A spokesperson for the Health and Safety Executive said: ‘This was an entirely avoidable incident involving a frail and vulnerable lady… Each year, a significant number of incidents are reported involving people being injured while being moved with hoisting equipment’.

When appearing in Aylesbury Crown Court, faced with charges of safety failings, the court heard how an investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive found that the procedures Ashbourne Group had in place for handling residents were not appropriate, sufficient or correct, particularly for those residents who were highly dependent. Alleged failings included the lack of risk assessments, unsuitable equipment and incorrect patient handling techniques.

According to an article written by the Health and Safety Executive, The Ashbourne Group UK Ltd were found guilty of breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at work Act 1974 (1), which would make the nursing home company liable for the incident that occurred.

In an unfortunate turn of circumstances, the care home itself saw no repercussions as the branch had gone into administration and therefore had no funds to support the payment of a fine; they are however now being run by another external company. Further on in the account given by the HSE Judge Mr Recorder Laid QC said:
"The company are in liquidation and have no assets. Any fine the court could impose would therefore be meaningless. The standards at Lakeside Care Centre were woefully inadequate. Had Ashbourne Group UK Limited still been trading I would have imposed a fine of £100,000. However because the company has no assets I impose a nominal fine of £1."(1)

After the case, two of Mrs Kilty’s daughters were quoted by the HSE as saying:
"We are very angry and upset that yet another 'care' home didn't care. Our mother passed away through negligence on the part of Southern Cross.
"We would like to thank the Health and Safety Executive for pursuing this case." (1)
Care homes for the elderly have the responsibility of providing a certain level of care to their residents, and when this level of care is compromised it can often have devastating repercussions. Families of victims of substandard care or care home neglect should contact a solicitor immediately to discuss whether or not there are grounds to support a care home negligence compensation claim.

Asons Solicitors Claims Executive Rebecca Raby commented that:
“This type of medical neglect shouldn’t be happening in this day and age, what with all the regulations that are in place. Care homes have a duty of care to fulfill and are fully liable for any incidents that occur on the basis of substandard care. Families should feel safe in the knowledge that their love ones are being cared for. Unfortunately this isn't always the case and I hope people learn from this and seek justice for their unnecessary and totally avoidable suffering. I'm glad that the company were charged by the courts, and responsibility was accepted”.

Asons solicitors have an experienced team of experts specialising in care home negligence, and advice any victims to contact a specialist for further information.
Visit http://www.asons.co.uk for more information.

(1) http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2013/rnn-e-01313.htm

(2) Aylesbury Crown Court, Court Case Number T20137050

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About Asons Solicitors:
Asons Solicitors is a Bolton-based law practice that specialises in personal injury and industrial disease claims. Founded by brothers Imran Akram and Kamran Akram, Asons Solicitors has developed to become a young and dynamic law firm that delivers practical solutions to clients in times of difficulty. Their continued focus on their staff has seen them awarded with the Investors in People “Gold Award”; which is reflected in the professional and personable approach they take in working with clients. They strive to grow and to develop, and their supportiveness and attention to detail ensures that their clients use them time and again.

For further information contact:
Email: info(at)asons(dot)co(dot)uk
Website: http://www.asons.co.uk

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