Clinical Negligence & Catastrophic Injury Solicitors
Care home manager Caroline Taylforth to pay £55k over resident deaths
The former manager of a care home has been ordered to pay more than £55,000 after the deaths of two residents.
One patient, Patricia Sutton, 77, died after choking at Rossendale Nursing Home in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, in November 2019 and 82-year-old John Chapman died after breaking his leg in a fall in 2020.
The home’s former manager, Caroline Taylforth, 62, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing avoidable harm by failing to provide adequate care. Inspectors had rated the home inadequate in June 2021.
Blackpool Magistrates' Court heard Ms Sutton had experienced three previous choking incidents at the home before her death.
The court was told a motion sensor had alerted staff that Mr Chapman, who was at risk of falls, was out of bed in the early hours of 14 January 2020. Staff found he had broken his leg in another fall. He died a few weeks later and a post-mortem examination concluded his broken leg was a secondary cause of death.
Health and care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), found in both cases prevention measures were overlooked or poorly implemented, putting residents at unnecessary and avoidable harm. The care home was shut after it was rated inadequate.
In her victim impact statement, Mr Chapman's daughter, Helen, said her father was an "incredibly proud and hardworking" man and a key figure in the family who adored his seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
She described how the findings from the CQC investigation and learning there were "a high number of falls in addition to the ones they were aware of was devastating to hear.”
She said: "As a family we were trusting that the care home would provide the appropriate care required.”
Ms Chapman added that it was like opening a "Pandora's box to fully acknowledge and reflect on the enormity of suffering we feel our dad endured and mental torment we have all suffered throughout the series of events leading up to and following his death.
She added: "I feel mentally scarred as a result of seeing a photograph of my dad, with an unexplained black eye, looking a shadow of his former self" and said that his "avoidable" death had significantly affected her mother, adding she had "suffered from depression at this enormous loss in her life."
CQC head of adult care inspection, Alison Chilton, said: "Patricia and John were seriously let down by the care they received. Caroline failed in her duty as registered manager to protect Patricia and John from an avoidable risk of harm in a place that should have been safe and receiving the best possible care to meet their individual needs.
"This fine is not representative of the value of their lives, but this, and the prosecution, reminds all care providers they must always ensure people's safety and manage risks to their wellbeing."