Comfy Care Homes fined £80,000 after failing to provide safe care 

A North Yorkshire care home owner has been fined following an incident in which a 99-year-old man died after falling from his bedroom window.  

Comfy Care Homes Ltd, which runs Norwood House in Scarborough, was fined £80,000, ordered to pay £23,100 prosecution costs, plus a £170 victim surcharge at York Magistrates’ Court in a prosecution brought by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The company pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe care and treatment, resulting in avoidable harm, to George Edmeads at the home in 2017.

Mr Edmeads was found to have fallen from a third-floor window in his bedroom on 11 December 2017. Paramedics were called and tried to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead almost half an hour later.

The court heard Norwood House did not have adequate systems and processes in place to assess and review risks in relation to window safety.

A statement that was read to the court from Mr Edmeads’ daughter, Margaret Williams, on behalf of the family, said: ‘For someone of 99 to die is not a surprise, but to die in the way that George did is nothing short of horrific. The passage of time does nothing to dim that horror. Norwood House was meant to be a place of safety, clearly it wasn’t.’

Ros Sanderson, head of adult social care inspection in CQC’s north region, said: ‘This is a distressing case, and our thoughts and sympathies are with Mr Edmeads’ family. We hope this sends a message to other care home providers that they must ensure people’s safety at all times and manage any risks to their safety and well-being. This did not happen in the case of Mr Edmeads.

‘Where we find any care provider has put people using its services at serious risk of harm, we will take action to hold them to account and ensure that others can receive safe care going forward.’

The home was rated ‘good’ following a CQC inspection in September this year.

Comfy Care Homes Ltd has been contacted for comment.