Care home operator fails in appeal over resident death

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The operator of a Derbyshire care home has failed to overturn an order to pay £150,000 following the death of a resident.

Gerald Hudson, operator of Milford House in Derby Road Milford, failed in his appeal over the death of 81-year-old Thomasina Bennett who was found under a fallen wardrobe in 2012, the Derby Telegraph reported.

Prosecutors charged that the wardrobe had not been adequately secured to the wall and Ms Bennett’s personal activity monitor (PAM) had not been working properly.

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Ms Bennett, who had Alzheimer’s, had been receiving respite care at the home.

Mr Hudson was cleared of the wardrobe charge but was convicted of the other count. He was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay £90,000 towards legal costs.

Mr Justice Baker said there had been “no risk assessment” in relation to the PAM system and no “proactive system of maintenance or servicing” of the equipment.

He said there was evidence the PAM was “unreliable” in the care home and Ms Bennett was a “vulnerable person” at risk from falls.

He said the Crown Court judge “was correct in ruling that the appellant had a case to answer”,  adding: “There are no arguable grounds relating to the safety of his [Mr Bennett’s] conviction.”

Milford House was rated ‘requires improvement’ in its last inspection by the CQC in 2014. It is yet to be inspected since its re-registering under Mr Hudson and a new partner in June last year.

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