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York care home fined.

A York care home, which failed to properly assess a suicidal resident who died after jumping out of a window, has been fined £50,000.

Dora Strickland, 90, jumped from a second-floor window at Red Lodge, New Earswick, where she had lived for five months with her 90-year-old husband, Jack, in 2011 and died a few days later in hospital.

The care home operator, The Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, was convicted of failing to have a proper risk assessment in place in relation to the home's windows and was also ordered to pay £28,000 costs.

York Crown Court had been told that, less than a month earlier, a doctor had warned management at the retirement complex to keep a close eye on Mrs Strickland after she made comments about taking her own life, but this had not been passed onto those who had day to day care of her.

Her death exposed failures in systems at Red Lodge, where elderly residents can live in supported self-accommodation with all meals, laundry facilities and other services included, that should have protected all its residents from falling or jumping through windows, either deliberately, by accident, or when confused.

The prosecution had claimed that, after Mrs Strickland’s death, the trust had restrictors installed on its windows to prevent them opening more than six inches without the use of a key and a policy put in place to control which residents could have keys to their windows.

This showed that there was a reasonably practical step the trust could have taken to prevent her death.

The trust had denied failing to protect the safety of the home’s residents and failure to have a proper risk assessment in place regarding its windows. It was cleared by a jury of a second charge of failing to protect the safety of residents.