Yorkshire care home ordered to pay over £10,000 for failing to provide adequate treatment
Greystones Nursing Home on Parsons Road, Heaton, had been charged by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following an investigation into the treatment of 75-year-old William Allen in late 2019 and early 2020.
The home admitted one charge of failing to provide care and treatment in a safe way resulting in harm or loss, and was sentenced at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
The court heard that Mr Allen, who has since died, suffered from numerous falls when he was in the home. The CQC alleged staff failed to properly implement its policies on falls, and did not respond to such incidents in the correct way.
Mr Allen, known as Billy, had a significant medical history, which included poor mental and physical health. He was admitted to Greystones Nursing Home on November 7, 2019, when he was 75, and living with dementia. While at Greystones he was assessed as being at high risk of falls.
During his time at the home, there had been 23 recorded incidents involving him falling, placing himself on the floor and being found by staff, or having unexplained injuries. Six of these incidents resulted in him being admitted to hospital.
The CQC argued that Greystones didn’t take sufficient action as a result of these incidents to mitigate the risk of them reoccurring. Risk assessments and care plans were not reviewed and updated after each fall, as required.
The provider also failed to ensure there was safe management of medicines at the home in relation to Billy’s care. This included failures in relation to recording and administration of medication.
Mr Allen died on March 1, 2020, although it was not suggested in court that his death was a direct result of the falls.
A letter from the family was read out in court, which said: “He should have been safe and looked after at Greystones, it is a difficult decision by a family to have a relative moved into a care home, and this left the family with a feeling of guilt.”
The letter said he had worked hard all his life, and had been a skilled stonemason who had worked on Bradford Cathedral.
He once jumped into a river to save a man from drowning.
He was born in Shipley, but spent his early years in a Barnardos home. The letter added: “He began his life in care, and ended it in another care system.
“He deserved to spend his life in a degree of comfort.”
The court heard how the home had been rated ‘inadequate’ by the CQC in December 2020.
But it had since improved its procedures, and was rated ‘good’ after an inspection in 2021.
Mr Dawson, defending the home, said the business had accepted its shortcomings in relation to the incident, and offered condolences to the family.
He added: “It is accepted the care home fell short. If failed to give due regard to policies and procedures in place.”
He said the home had approached Bradford Council seeking support to offer Mr Allen one-on-one care, but the funding was refused.
He added: “The home did what it could to ensure Mr Allen had a very high level of supervision, but it was not possible to ensure one-to-one monitoring and supervision.”
The home had “fallen short in its obligations to Mr Allen” – he acknowledged.
Changes that could have prevented further falls were not fully considered, but Mr Dawson added: “There are limits to the restrictions homes can place on the liberty of individuals living there.”
District Judge Richard Clewes said: “He didn’t receive the care he was entitled to or the care his family members who cared about him were entitled to expect.
“His last days were less dignified and comfortable than they should have been.”
He fined the care home £5,000 and ordered them to pay £5,000 costs to the Care Quality Commission, and a £181 surcharge.
After the case Sheila Grant, CQC deputy director of operations in the north said: “The home failed in its duty to protect him, in a place he called home, where he should have been safe and receiving the best possible care to meet his individual needs.”