The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI) has been fined £50,000 after a care home resident suffered “significant burns” from a hot pipe following a fall.
RMBI, which is part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe care and treatment to Avril McCreeth at Cornwallis Court in Bury St Edmonds at Sevenoaks Magistrates Court on Friday.
The court heard how Mrs McCreeth fell at Cornwallis Court on 10 January 2016 and became stuck against a hot pipe inflicting significant burns on her back.
A subsequent CQC investigation found RMBI failed in their duty to implement systems and processes to protect people from hot surfaces, meaning the incident could have been avoided.
Ms McCreeth has since died. Her death was not linked to injuries sustained at Cornwallis Court.
Jemima Burnage, CQC head of inspection for adult social care, said: “The risk of people sustaining serious burns from uncovered pipes is something all care homes should be aware of. We hope this result sends a message to all care home providers that they must always ensure people’s safety and manage risks to their wellbeing. When a care provider has put people in its care at serious risk of harm, we will hold them to account, using our powers to bring prosecutions where appropriate.”
An RMBI spokesperson said: “RMBI deeply regrets and has accepted responsibility for the accident which related to the unfortunate exposure of a resident to a section of unprotected hot piping in her bathroom.
“Since the accident RMBI Care Co has taken over management of the care homes previously operated by RMBI and has taken all necessary steps to review safety standards at the home and ensure that safety procedures are reviewed on a regular basis.
“The home is currently rated Good by CQC following the regulator’s last inspection in January 2018. Indeed, all the RMBI Care Co homes are now rated as Good or Outstanding by CQC.
“RMBI Care Co takes our responsibility for safeguarding our residents extremely seriously and we are committed to providing the highest quality care. The safety and welfare of our residents is of paramount importance to us.”