88-year-old woman dies after suffering burns in a care-home bath
A Deeside nursing home has been in court after an elderly woman suffered serious burns when she was lowered into a bath of scalding hot water.
Beatrice ‘Betty’ Morgan, who was unable to walk, was lowered into a bath using a hoist at Greencroft Nursing Home in 2012.
She cried out as soon as she touched the water and, although she was quickly lifted out, she suffered nine per cent burns and was rushed to hospital.
She died of complications caused by her burns soon after.
An investigation into the incident found that the care home had not put satisfactory measures in place to ensure that the hot water was controlled.
Though mixing valves had been fitted to the baths, they were not properly maintained and were not of the right standard required in nursing homes.
Additionally, members of staff were required to check the water temperature using a thermometer before patients were lowered into baths, but the firm’s management made no checks to ensure this was happening.
What was the outcome
Greencroft Care Ltd was fined £5,000 after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
However, the judge at the hearing said that had the company not been in liquidation, the fine would have been at least £100,000.
HSE Inspector Katharine Walker, 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.”
If you have been affected by negligence such as this, and you would like expert advice, contact the Hampson Hughes Solicitors Medical Negligence Team today on 0151 242 1025 or email [email protected]
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