Care home fined £100,000 over walking frame assault


Sunrise of Esher in Surrey has been fined £100,000 after a 92-year-old resident was ‘assaulted with a zimmer frame’ by another person living at the home.

Sunrise Operations Esher Limited pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to provide safe care and treatment after an elderly man living with dementia assaulted 92-year-old Eileen Traynor with a ‘zimmer frame’ while she lay in bed on 12 June 2016. Ms Traynor was later taken to hospital for treatment of her injuries.

She returned to Sunrise of Esher in June 2016 after the gentleman who assaulted her was removed from the service. She sadly died in November 2016, however, her death was not as a result of the injuries she sustained in the assault.

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Debbie Ivanova, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector for Adult Social Care, said: “This is a very distressing case and clearly Mrs Traynor did not get the safe care she was entitled to. I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to all of those affected by Mrs Traynor’s death.

“Mrs Traynor and her family had every right to expect good, quality care and we welcome that the provider has accepted full responsibility in this case.

“It was the serious failure of the home to protect people from avoidable harm that led to CQC’s prosecution of the provider. In their role as provider Sunrise of Esher Operations Limited had a specific legal duty to ensure care and treatment was provided in a safe way. We found they had failed to do this by not ensuring risks had been fully assessed and measures were not in place to prevent harm to Mrs Traynor. I agree with the judge’s view that ‘this was terrible event waiting to happen’.

“We appreciate how distressing this has been for Mrs Traynor’s family and we hope this case prompts other care home operators to review the care they provide to ensure people’s safety.

“Where we find any care provider has put people in its care at serious risk of harm, we will take action to ensure that people are safe and hold providers to account.”

Dr Natalie-Jane Macdonald, UK CEO of Sunrise Senior Living, said: “The safety and wellbeing of everyone who makes their home with us is our absolute priority.

“We deeply regret and take full responsibility for the incident involving Mrs Traynor, which should not have been allowed to happen.

“Since the incident took place in 2016, we have undertaken a comprehensive review of our policies and training processes so that nothing like this can happen anywhere across Sunrise.

“Mrs Traynor lived at Sunrise of Esher for nine years and is greatly missed. Our thoughts remain with her family at this time.”

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Alex Douglas

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