Sheffield care home operator fined over resident death

A care home operator in Sheffield has been fined a total of £15,000 for health and safety breaches which resulted in the death of a resident.

A resident of Newfield Care Home, which is operated by Palms Row Healthcare, died after accidentally drinking toxic toilet cleaner that was left in his room by care staff. The patient, 80-year-old retired accountant Derek Johnson, had symptoms of dementia and was registered blind.

At a hearing in Sheffield Magistrates Court recently, it was revealed that the dangerous chemical was left unattended in Mr Johnson’s room for hours even though staff knew it was there.

Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it was ruled that the company had insufficient systems in place to protect vulnerable people from accessing areas of risk and chemicals. These standards should have been maintained by staff who had undergone extensive risk assessment and general care training.

Commenting on the £15,000 fine the care operator received for what proved to be fatal health and safety breaches, HSE inspector Carol Downes said:

“There was no excuse for Palms Row Healthcare’s failure to protect the vulnerable people in its care. It is imperative that care home owners consider the risks to people they are looking after and manage those risks to prevent incidents like this.

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