Coroner calls for vigilance after fatal fall from sling
Caring Times, March 2013
A hundred-year-old resident of a Bedfordshire care home died when she fell from a body sling being used by care workers who were not properly trained, an inquest has heard.
May Ward died after she fell from the sling at Meppershall care home in 2010, Hatfield Coroner’s Court was told in January. Evidence was given that when she fell Mrs Ward suffered a skull fracture, a broken leg, a black eye and other cuts and bruises, but despite these injuries, the two care assistants, one from Bulgaria and the other from China, changed Mrs Ward’s clothes and put her back into bed.
Evidence was given to the court that the Care Quality Commission had been concerned about the moving and handling of residents at the home as far back as November 2009. The home was given a zero star rating in December 2009, which was uprated to a one-star rating in May 2010. Mohamed Zarook, managing director of the care home’s owners, GA Projects Ltd, defended the running of the home when he was questioned by Coroner Edward Thomas. The jury at the coroner’s court then returned a verdict of accidental death.
Coroner Thomas said he would write to the CQC to urge them to be vigilant to prevent similar accidents in future.
The incident is still under investigation by the HSE with a possibility that criminal charges could still be brought.