Care home handed £75,000 fine following choking death

The operator of a County Down care home has been fined £75,000 after one of its residents died after choking on a piece of orange.

Mervyn Patterson, who had learning difficulties and severe autism, died at Seeconnell Village Residential Home in March 2014, the BBC reported.

The home’s operator, Corriewood Private Clinic, said: “We accept the judgement today and apologise wholeheartedly to Mr Patterson’s family for this tragic accident.

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“Our number one priority is always the health, safety and well-being of the residents we support to have as fulfilled lives as possible.

“We continue to work in partnership with relevant Health and Social Care Trusts to ensure our ongoing care to residents is exemplary.”

A post mortem found a segment of orange, including the peel, at the back of Mr Patterson’s throat.

The court heard Mr Patterson, who had difficulties swallowing, had been assessed and required to only eat fruit that had been peeled.

It was told that his meal had been prepared by a support worker who had failed to read his care plan.

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