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Care home fined after resident's fatal fall from window

01-02-2012

The owners of a Wrexham care home have been sentenced after an elderly resident defeated the window restrictor of his first floor bedroom and fell 12ft to the ground below.

Stanley Tilston, 79, suffered from dementia and was a resident at Plas Rhosnesi Nursing Home on Cefn Road in Wrexham. On the morning of 1 June 2008, he was found lying on the ground outside with serious head injuries. He died in hospital a few days later.

Chester Crown Court heard that Plas Rhosnesni specialised in the care of elderly and mentally infirm residents. Mr Tilston had told staff and his family that he had wanted to leave and repeatedly tried to break open the window’s chain restrictor, which he succeeded in doing on two separate occasions.

A week before the incident, Mr Tilston’s son visited the home and reported that his father had broken the restrictor and was planning to leave the home. However, staff failed to move his father to a vacant ground floor room.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the company had failed to complete a risk assessment on the risk of residents falling from windows, and failed to implement and review its window restrictor policy.

Previously known as Hallmark Healthcare (Wrexham) Ltd, Care Homes Wrexham Ltd. of Woodbank Crescent, Radford Way, Billericay pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

It was fined £66,000 and ordered to pay £43,287 in costs.

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