Care home operator fined for training failures which led to patient death

The operator of a Grimsby nursing home has been fined a total of £80,000 by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after it was found that care training failures led to the death of a patient.

The incident at the Old Vicarage nursing home in Stallingborough took place back in October 2004 and involved patient Anthony Pinder, 42, who suffered from behavioural and learning issues. In what was described as “difficult circumstances”, Mr Pinder was physically restrained for a total of 90 minutes by care staff before going back to his room. Tragically, he was found dead a short time later.

At Leeds Crown Court recently, it was found that Health and Care Services (UK) Limited, who owned the care home, were at least partly liable for Mr Pinder’s death due to serious failures in care training. The staff themselves were not blamed, as they were simply doing what they felt was necessary for the situation.

However, it was ruled that management had a responsibility to ensure staff received proper care training, especially with regards to the physical restraint of patients. The measures used in Mr Pinder’s case were described as “poor, inappropriate and dangerous”. The court also heard that the operator had been strongly advised by the Commission for Social Care Inspectorate to improve safe restraint training a mere five months before Mr Pinder’s death.
Health and Care Services (UK) Limited was fined a total of £80,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £40,823.