A company has been fined for leaving residents at a Norfolk care home without heating or hot water for several days.
Diamond Care (UK) Limited, former proprietor of Pine Heath in High Kelling, was fined £81,000 at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court yesterday following prosecution by the CQC.
The court heard that the company failed to undertake essential maintenance on two boilers at the home despite their poor condition being raised by environmental health officials in 2015.
The boilers both failed in the following year leaving 40 residents without heating or hot water for several days during the winter.
While portable electric heaters were eventually provider for residents’ rooms, thermometers to ensure adequate temperatures were not issued for over a week. Residents also had to bathe in cold water for several days.
Matthew Jenkins, CQC head of inspection for adult social care, said: “Care providers have a legal duty to take all reasonable steps to protect people in their care from risks to their health and wellbeing.
“Diamond Care failed its residents in this as it did not adequately maintain Pine Heath’s boilers, despite warnings they were not in good working order. When these boilers inevitably failed, vulnerable people – whose health could be jeopardised by prolonged exposure to cold – faced a significant risk of avoidable harm.
“The majority of care providers do an excellent job. However, when a provider puts people in its care at risk, we take action to hold it to account and protect people.
“I hope this prosecution reminds care providers they must always take all reasonable steps to manage risks to people’s safety, including ensuring facilities where care is provided are fit for purpose.”
Diamond UK pleaded guilty to putting its residents at significant risk of avoidable harm. Pine Heath closed in 2017. Care is not currently provided from the site and Diamond Care does not run any other CQC-regulated services.