North East Wales

Woman died after Greencroft Residential Home scalding

Beatrice Morgan Image copyright Andrew Price
Image caption Beatrice Morgan died in hospital where she was being treated for scald burns

A dementia patient died after she was lowered into a scalding bath at a care home, a court has heard.

Former nurse Beatrice Morgan, 88, suffered burns to 18% of her body at Greencroft Residential Home at Aston, Deeside.

Flintshire Magistrates' Court heard her injuries were a contributing factor in her death at the burns unit at Whiston Hospital in Liverpool in August 2012.

Greencroft Care Ltd was fined £5,000 for breaching health and safety rules.

Prosecutor Simon Parrington said Miss Morgan, who was extremely frail, suffered scalds to her lower legs, upper body and left arm when she was lowered into a bath by staff.

The court heard the home had no effective control over the temperature of the hot water at the premises, no risk assessment had been carried out and there had been little staff training.

The temperature of the water was not known but tests on another bath at the home showed it to be 50.7C (120F). The maximum safe level is 44C (111F).

'Potentials risks'

Image copyright Google
Image caption Greencroft Care Ltd which ran the home has since ceased trading

District Judge Gwyn Jones said standards at the home had fallen very far below the basic standards expected and staff levels did not comply with safety standards.

There was no bathing policy and improvements had not been carried out because "the company, to put it mildly, did not want to spend", he said.

District Judge Jones said the firm "either did not care for the safety of its residents or it could not be bothered to bring the standards of the home to a minimum standard which would have prevented the potential risks."

Greencroft Care Ltd had denied breaching health and safety but was convicted in its absence at Flintshire Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

However, the judge said he accepted that the £5,000 fine imposed was unlikely to be paid, as the company was no longer trading and had no assets.

After the hearing Miss Morgan's nieces Ann Elliot and Susan Laws said the former nurse, who had worked at Wrexham War Memorial Hospital, would have been shocked at the way she was treated.

Miss Elliot said: "I hope it makes other care homes think of what they are doing. It was such a horrible way to spend her last days."

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