Care home fined £100,000 following assault on resident

A Surrey care home has been ordered to pay more than £125,000 at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court following an assault on a 92-year-old woman by another resident at the service.

Sunrise of Esher informed the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on 12 June 2016 that a male resident with dementia had assaulted Eileen Traynor with his zimmer frame whilst she was in bed.

Mrs Traynor sustained injuries that required her to go to hospital. During this time, the male resident was removed from the 88-bed home that provides dementia care.

The woman returned to Sunrise of Esher later that month but died on 22 November 2016, although her death was not because of her injuries suffered from the incident.

Sunrise Operations Esher Ltd, which runs the home, pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe care and treatment, resulting in avoidable harm to Mrs Traynor while she was a resident. It also pleaded guilty to exposing other people living to a significant risk of avoidable harm.

The company was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge and £25,575.87 costs as a result of the prosecution brought by the CQC.

Debbie Ivanova, deputy chief inspector for adult social care at the CQC, said: ‘It was the serious failure of the home to protect people from avoidable harm that led to CQC’s prosecution of the provider.

‘In their role as provider Sunrise of Esher Operations Ltd had a specific legal duty to ensure care and treatment was provided in a safe way.

‘We found they had failed to do this by not ensuring risks had been fully assessed and measures were not in place to prevent harm to Mrs Traynor. I agree with the judge’s view that “this was terrible event waiting to happen.”’

Dr Natalie-Jane Macdonald, UK CEO of Sunrise Senior Living said: ‘The safety and wellbeing of everyone who makes their home with us is our absolute priority.

‘We deeply regret and take full responsibility for the incident involving Mrs Traynor, which should not have been allowed to happen.

‘Since the incident took place in 2016, we have undertaken a comprehensive review of our policies and training processes so that nothing like this can happen anywhere across Sunrise.

‘Mrs Traynor lived at Sunrise of Esher for nine years and is greatly missed. Our thoughts remain with her family at this time.’