Care provider ordered to pay £83,644 after resident plunges to death
A Surrey care provider has been ordered to pay £83,644 after a 57-year-old man died after falling out of a window while in their care.
St John’s Nursing Home Limited in South Croydon pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe care and treatment, resulting in avoidable harm to Stephen Verrall while resident at the home.
The provider was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £3,474 prosecution costs, plus a £170 victim surcharge at Croydon Magistrates’ Court on 3 February in a prosecution brought by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
On 17 October 2017, Verrall was found in the car park outside having had an unwitnessed fall from his bedroom.
Verrall was attended to by paramedics, and taken by ambulance to St. George’s Hospital in Tooting where he later passed away on 19 October 2017.
The window from which he fell had been restricted by a single metal chain attached by screws to an aluminium frame. This had been in place for at least 15 years.
A health and safety consultant attended the home the day after the incident and advised a change to all the window restrictors with chains because they were not strong enough.
The windows were later replaced in February 2018 with built-in window restrictors.
“This is a distressing case and our sympathies are with the family of Mr Verrall and those affected closely by his death,” said CQC head of inspection for adult social care Neil Cox.
“Where we find any provider has put people using its services at risk of harm, we take action to hold them to account and protect people,” he added.
“We hope this prosecution reminds care providers that they must always ensure people’s safety and manage risks to their wellbeing.”