Ideal Carehomes has been fined £140,000 and ordered pay a £170 victim surcharge and £14,361.60 costs for failing to protect residents at one of its homes from avoidable harm.
The fine was issued at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Friday after Ideal Carehomes had previously pleaded guilty to two offences, prosecuted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), connected to its management of a Bowbridge Court resident.
Mary Cridge, CQC deputy chief inspector for adult social care, said: “This is a distressing case and I welcome Ideal Carehomes’ guilty pleas.
“People had every right to expect safe care at Bowbridge Court, but Ideal Carehomes failed in its specific legal duty to protect residents from avoidable harm.
“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.
“I hope this prosecution reminds care providers that they must always ensure people’s safety and manage risks to their wellbeing.”
In the incident on 12 December 2017, 93-year-old Lilian Stark sustained a head injury after being pushed over by a resident who had a history of challenging behaviour.
Ms Stark, who was susceptible to falling due to her frailty and dementia, was also kicked several times by the resident while on the floor.
The court found the home had not acted comprehensively to protect Ms Stark despite the resident having been physically aggressive at least 18 times in the two months before the incident.
This included failing to resolve issues CQC raised following two inspections of the home in the year before the incident – such as improving detail in care plans for people who challenged the service and responding to risk.
Ideal Carehomes pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe care and treatment to Ms Stark, resulting in her suffering avoidable harm.
It also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of exposing Bowbridge Court’s other residents to a significant risk of avoidable harm, due to its inadequate management of threats to their safety.
Stacey Linn, Managing Director, Ideal Carehomes, said: “The safety and wellbeing of everyone who lives and works with us is our absolute priority.
“We deeply regret and take full responsibility for the incidents which occurred at Bowbridge Court in 2017 and we apologise sincerely for any distress caused. We acknowledge that, at the time of the incidents, the service fell far short of the extremely high standards we hold today.
“Over the last four years, Bowbridge Court has been placed under new management and we have undertaken a comprehensive review of our policies, procedures and training across all our care homes. These improvements have been recognised in our latest Care Quality Commission inspection reports which have rated Bowbridge Court as ‘Good’ in all areas, with all our other homes also now rated as either ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.”