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Poor and inappropriate restraint techniques lead to man’s death

Public and employers’ liability holders, Health and Care Services (UK) Limited, part of the Craegmoor Group were issued with a substantial fine after management failed to provide staff at the Old Vicarage Nursing Home with adequate training on safe physical restraint of residents.

42 year old Anthony Pinder was a resident of the Old Vicarage nursing home. He suffered from learning and behavioral issues. During an incident, staff at the home were required to physically restrain him for around 90 minutes. When released he had crawled unaided to his room where he was later found dead.

Leeds Crown Court described the measures that were used to control Mr Pinder as “poor, inappropriate and dangerous”. The Commission for Social Care Inspectorate highlighted an urgent need for safe restraint training which prompted a written promise from senior management that improvements would be made. A health and safety executive (HSE) investigation however, later discovered that this was not the case.

At Leeds Crown Court, Health and Care Services (UK) Limited pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) if the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £40,823 in costs.

HSE investigator said:

“[The failure to ensure that staff were trained in appropriate and safe restraint techniques] is inexcusable given that this lack of training had been drawn to the attention of the company following an inspection of the home by the Commission for Social Care Inspection five months before Anthony's death. Despite the fact that the Commission produced a report requiring this training to be provided, it was not delivered.”

“The company says that steps have been taken to prevent a repeat of this incident. I hope Anthony's tragic and untimely death and the subsequent prosecution, sends an important message to all care sector companies."

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