Care provider fined £200,000 after unsafe care contributes to vulnerable woman’s injury

Cheshire care provider, Vivo Care Choices Limited, which runs Curzon House in Saltney, was fined £200,000 in court for failing to provide safe care and treatment, which subsequently put a vulnerable woman at risk.

Elli Figgins lived with numerous health conditions including vascular dementia, osteoporosis, poor vision and hearing loss. She also had Ménière’s disease – a condition affecting a person’s balance – and was known to leave her bed up to eight times a night to use the toilet.

Despite these conditions being documented, the home did not carry out a robust assessment of her needs prior to her admission, and there was no plan to monitor her during the night.

Mrs Figgins’ risk of injury was further increased by the home failing to use any assistive technology, such as motion sensors to monitor her when she was alone in her bedroom, or safety mats to protect her if she fell. She was only given a call bell which she could not use.

Mrs Figgins suffered a fall on 3 June 2017 and was admitted to hospital, where she underwent surgery for a hip fracture. She was then transferred to the Hospice of the Good Shepherd, Chester.

Sadly, Mrs Figgins died at the hospice on 11 June 2017. The injuries suffered during her fall were cited on her death certificate as a contributing factor.

Sue Howard, a CQC deputy chief inspector for adult social care, said:

“This is a distressing case and my sympathies are with everyone affected by Elli Figgins’ death.

“Mrs Figgins had every right to expect safe care at Curzon House. Vivo Care Choices Limited has a specific legal duty to ensure care and treatment is provided safely at the home, but it failed to implement basic measures – such as motion sensors and safety mats – to mitigate the known risk of her falling.

“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.

“We hope this prosecution reminds care providers that they must always ensure people’s safety and manage risks to their wellbeing.”

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