Leeds care home firm ‘accepts’ court fine over death of resident

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The boss of a Leeds-based care provider has said they “fully accept” the outcome of a court case over the death of a disabled resident following a fall.

As reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post yesterday, St Anne’s Community Services was fined £190,000 and ordered to pay £16,000 costs and a £120 victim surcharge.

Kevin McNally, who had Down’s syndrome, epilepsy, dementia and a severe learning disability, broke his neck in a fall from a shower chair at a nursing home in Smithies Moor Lane, Birstall, in April last year.

The 62-year-old resident, who had lived there since 2012, was taken for a shower by two care workers using a shower commode chair.

With Mr McNally loosely strapped in, the chair fell forwards and the impact broke his neck. Staff attempted to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead in hospital.

St Anne’s Community Services, the registered provider at the home, was fined £190,000 for failing in its duty to provide safe care and treatment. Bradford Magistrates’ Court had heard the accident was avoidable.

Following the case, chief executive Derek Bray said: “We have been deeply saddened by the events leading to this prosecution and have assisted the Care Quality Commission (CQC) throughout its investigations.

“We fully accept the outcome, and have taken our responsibilities in relation to the provision of care for vulnerable people very seriously indeed.”

He added that the CQC has carried out checks on the home since the incident and rated services as ‘good’, while the firm was “absolutely committed to providing the highest level of care to clients” and this was reflected in positive testimonials presented to the court.