Essex care provider fined £80,000 after vulnerable woman in 80s dies

A care provider from Essex has been ordered to pay almost £100,000 after an 87-year-old woman died

A care provider from Essex has been ordered to pay almost £100,000 after an 87-year-old woman died - Credit: Google Maps

A care provider from Essex has been ordered to pay nearly £100,000 in fines and costs after failings in its care led to the death of an 87-year-old woman. 

Lanemile Limited, which runs Haven Lodge in Clacton-on-Sea, was fined £80,000 at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court today, Thursday, June 24 and was also ordered to pay a £170 victim sucharge. 

Lanemile previously pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe care and treatment to Sylvia Macknay at Haven Lodge, which caused her avoidable harm.

This criminal offence was prosecuted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which was awarded its £17,000 costs.  

In June 2016, Mrs Macknay suffered a stroke in her own home and was admitted to hospital where, as part of her care, she was catheterised. 

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After 11 weeks in hospital, Mrs Macknay's condition had improved enough for her to be discharged to the nursing home for further care. However, she was still reliant on a catheter. 

Two weeks later in September, Mrs Macknay's daughter visited the home and found her mum semi-conscious and in considerable distress in her bed. 

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Her daughter alerted staff who later found her mother's catheter was blocked. 

Mrs Macknay was subsequently transferred to Colchester General Hospital where, sadly, she died the same day. Urinary sepsis associated with the catheter was cited as a cause of her death. 

A CQC investigation found serious failings in Lanemile’s care of Mrs Macknay, including a lack of appropriate assessment before it admitted her to Haven Lodge. 

Following her admission, Mrs Macknay’s safety was threatened by gaps in staff training and poor communication.

Lanemile expected its carers to escalate concerns to its nurses. However, carers were not trained in catheter care so could not identify problems before they worsened.  

Mary Cridge, CQC deputy chief inspector for adult social care, said: “This is a distressing case and I welcome Lanemile’s guilty plea.

“Sylvia Macknay had every right to expect safe care at Haven Lodge, but Lanemile failed in its specific legal duty to protect her from 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.” 

Mrs Macknay’s safety was further risked because the home’s plan for her care lacked detail and accuracy.

Records referred to her by the wrong name and stated she should be encouraged to drink over a litre a day, when she was nil-by-mouth.

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