‘Failures in hoist system’ lead to care home death and £60k fine

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An investigation into the death of a care home resident who fell while being transferred on a hoist has found failures in the hoist system, including a lack of size markings on harnesses, an inadequate system for removing old harnesses and a “one size fits all” approach.

Chilton Care Homes in Sudbury, Suffolk was fined £60,000 after an 89-year-old resident died after falling from the hoist while being transferred by two care workers using a hoist.

The resident died nine days later after suffering a break to her right femur and fractured ribs.

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Sentencing the care home group, Recorder Gerard Pounder described the hoisting and harnessing system used at the home as “a mess”, according to the East Anglian Daily Times.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found Chilton Care Homes Limited did not have adequate health and safety arrangements in place to ensure users could be hoisted safely.

HSE inspector Saffron Turnell said: “The [care home] company failed to put in place robust arrangements to ensure that residents could be hoisted safely.

“Care providers must ensure that each resident has an individual lifting plan that records the size and type of sling to be used for each type of transfer and how it should be attached to the hoist.

“The plans should be communicated to nurses and care workers who have received appropriate training to carry out the activities safely. Detailed guidance can be found on HSE’s website which care providers should review to ensure that they are complying with their legal health and safety responsibilities.”

According to the local newspaper, Julia Kendrick, for Chilton Care Homes, said the company was passionate about providing the best possible care but accepted there had been some shortcomings.

“Steps were taken voluntarily to resolve issues and turn the home around quickly to make sure these matters were addressed,” she told the newspaper.

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