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NHS Trust Fined After Woman Scalded

Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust


A hospital trust has been fined £8,000 ordered to pay £2,786 compensation after an elderly woman was scalded in a bath.

Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust admitted charges under section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Oxford Magistrates' Court.

The court heard the hot water temperature was about 55C when she suffered burns last October at John Radcliffe Hospital in Headley Way.

The bath was one of four not fitted with thermostatic mixing valves. The Health and Safety Executive is now advising hospitals and other establishments like care homes to ensure all baths and showers are fitted with the valves.

Matthew Lee, HSE inspector, said: "The trust took immediate action after the incident to ensure that all baths in the hospital were fitted with TMVs and has implemented a comprehensive range of improvements to ensure that there can be no repetition of this type of incident.

"I would advise those who care for vulnerable people to ensure they have adequate controls in place to prevent a similar accident occurring."

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This was a terrible accident involving an elderly member of the public under the care of a hospital. Patients should be able to hospitals and expect they will be kept safe.

"Hospitals and care homes have a duty of care to those visiting and staying on their premises.

"The HSE outlines the simple steps that could and should have been taken to have avoided this scalding accident.

"I represent many people pursue claims for compensation, who have suffered injury or death in circumstances where owners or occupiers of property have failed in their duties to members of the public.

"These claims known as public liability claims, can be against large institutions like hospitals or councils or can be against much smaller institutions like supermarkets or local shops. These claims can sometimes also be brought against individuals."