Heartbroken Daughter Speaks Out After Care Home Failings Led To Father’s Death

Expert Personal Injury Lawyers Secure Five-Figure Settlement For The Family


The heartbroken daughter of a man who died after breaking his hip in a fall in the bathroom of a London care home where he was unsupervised has spoken out for the first time about the need for action to be taken to prevent any further avoidable deaths.

Frederick Chadwick, 91, who suffered from Dementia, was a patient at Langley Oaks residential home in Croydon, operated by Care UK for a two-week respite stay in October 2012 – however he had to stay for over a month because of a number of falls whilst he was unaccompanied to the bathroom that ultimately caused the injuries which led to his death.

Following the first incident on 24th October in which he broke his wrist, Croydon Council’s safeguarding team insisted that Frederick had a carer to accompany him at all times.

However on 28 November 2012, Frederick was taken to the bathroom by a carer but was left alone and he slipped and fell breaking his hip. Frederick’s earlier injury to his wrist had not healed and he was using a walking frame with only the use of one arm, which made it very difficult for him to get around. He was taken to Croydon University Hospital and had an operation to repair the damage but died a just a month later on 27 December after his condition deteriorated.

His daughter Ana Rixon instructed specialist personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate whether more could have been done to prevent his injuries and his death and seek justice on his behalf. 

Now Frederick’s family has received a five-figure settlement from Care UK after the organisation admitted liability for a breach of duty in Frederick’s care.

Katrina Elsey, a specialist personal injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing the family, said: “This is a heartbreaking case and one which could have been prevented if the care home had followed safety guidelines which were in place to protect Frederick, who was a vulnerable and elderly patient in their care.

“Following a risk assessment Frederick’s day-to-day needs and care were clearly reiterated to staff at Langley Oaks specifying that he required assistance when getting around in particularly when using the bathroom facilities. Each time he had an accident, it was when he was by himself in the bathroom and as a result he suffered serious injuries which sadly proved fatal. 

“The frustration in this case is that the risk of a fall when unaccompanied was identified, yet staff did not heed the previous warnings and he suffered another, more serious fall.  We urge all care homes to take note of this case and to ensure that their staff take note of the risks identified in caring for vulnerable patients such as Frederick to prevent any similar tragedies in the future.”

Ana Rixon, 47, from Coulsdon, said: “As a family we were shocked and devastated by my dad’s death, especially as the only reason he was staying at the care home was to give my mum a two-week break from caring for him at their own home.

“For him to suffer such horrendous and traumatic injuries in a very short space of time was so upsetting for us all. He was elderly and suffered from Dementia and so needed constant care to ensure he was safe at all times.

“We put all our trust and faith in Langley Oaks residential home and we were even  reassured by them that my dad would be well cared for and safe during his stay at the home but instead due to their failings my dad never came home to us. It is difficult to understand why, having identified the need for him to be accompanied to the bathroom,  he was left alone to fall once again.

“I hope that action is taken by the care home to make sure that each and every resident is given all the care they need and deserve to avoid this happening again in the future.”