Care Home Owners Fined After Negligence Leads to Scalding Death

Care home negligence - resident scalded



Two owners of a care home in West Sussex have each been fined £16,000 after a resident died after she was scalded in a bath.

Alan Lucas and Richard Wooton, of The Ormsby Centre, Littlehampton, pleaded guilty at Worthing Magistrates' Court to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. They were also ordered to pay £22,560 costs.

The prosecution arose after an incident on November 2, 2005.

The court heard that two care assistants had been assigned to give 86-year-old Bettina East a bath.

But they failed to carry out a number of health and safety assessments, including a full temperature check, before they began to bathe her.

As a result, Mrs East suffered severe scalding to her legs, and she died a few days later. Her injuries were later confirmed to be a contributory factor in her death.

Health and Safety Executive inspector Maria Strangward said: "This case highlights the serious consequences of not sticking to the guidance set for residential care homes."

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Joanne Ashley of Irwin Mitchell's Paralegal, Medical Law & Patients' Rights Team: "It is appalling to see that care provided by care homes and their workers could fall below a reasonable standard because of failure to follow health and safety guidelines. This case demonstrates the importance of the guidelines and risk assessments put in place to protect the elderly".