Care home fined £200,000 after pensioner left on floor for up to two hours

Care Quality Commission prosecutes Vivo Care Choices for failure to provide safe care to Elli Figgins 

Shaun Lintern
Health Correspondent
Friday 23 October 2020 14:51
Comments
The CQC has prosecuted the owners of Curzon Hose care home near Chester after harm to an elderly resident in 2017
The CQC has prosecuted the owners of Curzon Hose care home near Chester after harm to an elderly resident in 2017

A care home has been forced to pay almost £220,000 for not providing safe care to an 89-year-old woman who was left on the floor for up to two hours with a broken hip.

Vivo Care Choices Limited, which runs Curzon House in Saltney, near Chester, was prosecuted by the Care Quality Commission and ordered to pay a £200,000 fine plus costs at Chester Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

The company had previously pleaded guilty to the criminal offence of failing to provide safe care and treatment, after Elli Figgins suffered significant avoidable harm while she was resident at Curzon House.  

The care home looks after up to 35 older people.  

Ms Figgins was admitted to the home in June 2017 for respite care. She lived with her daughter and main carer but had been into the home twice before after suffering falls.

Ms Figgins, who had multiple conditions including dementia and a disease which affected her balance, was known to leave her bed up to eight times a night to use the toilet.

Despite this care home staff failed to carry out a full risk assessment of her needs and they did not have a plan to monitor her through the night. There was no technology used to alert staff if she got out of bed and no safety mats to protect her if she fell.

On 2 June 2017 the pensioner was found on the floor after 4am when another resident alerted care home staff to her cries for help. She had been checked at 2am so could have been on the floor for as long as two hours.

She was admitted to the Countess of Chester Hospital with a hip fracture and although she had surgery she died on 11 June in a hospice.

Sue Howard, CQC deputy chief inspector for social care, said: “This is a distressing case and my sympathies are with everyone affected by Elli Figgins’ death.  

“Mrs Figgins had every right to expect safe care at Curzon House. Vivo Care Choices Limited has a specific legal duty to ensure care and treatment is provided safely at the home, but it failed to implement basic measures.

“The majority of care providers do an excellent job. However, when a provider puts people in its care at risk of harm, we take action to hold it to account and protect people. 

“We hope this prosecution reminds care providers that they must always ensure people’s safety and manage risks to their wellbeing.”

Vivo Care Choices Limited was approached for comment.  

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