UK care sector sees huge finesAugust 7, 2017
The UK care sector paid £3.2m in fines due to breaches in health and safety law during 2016/17, according to research from global law firm, Clyde & Co.
In fact, the sector produced two of the largest health and safety fines across all UK industries, with one care home alone fined a massive £1.6m.
Whilst this huge fine related to a particularly harrowing case concerning a 91-year-old woman who died of hypothermia at her care home, there were many other significant fines for care homes over the year, with the smallest fine being £3,500.
In fact, care organisations were fined four times more than the total figure for all local authority claims in the previous year.
This is a particularly shocking increase, especially considering that local authorities are responsible for enforcing Health & Safety compliance not only the care sector, but also in other ‘lower risk sectors’ such as leisure, retail, warehousing, hospitality, catering and office space.
The increase in the amount of fines follows last year’s introduction of new sentencing guidance which introduced harsher penalties for health and safety and corporate manslaughter.
Care homes can be fined for a variety of reasons, from neglectful care resulting in death or injury, to fire safety hazards, and poor infection control resulting in outbreaks of infectious disease.
Clearly, many of these risks can be avoided by ensuring a high standard of care for residents, with care home staff trained properly in all aspects of elderly care and supported with the very best products to maintain a safe environment.
For useful advice on tackling the many risks in care homes and ensuring a positive and dignified experience for residents click here to visit our blog.
You can also download a suite of useful training materials and outbreak action plans from the training section on our website.