Reminder for residential care home providers – bed rails risk assessments

Increasingly we are seeing claims where bed rail risk assessments have either not been conducted or not implemented consistently in residential care settings.

In the recent case of Jane Farrell (Executrix of the Estate of Vera Predeth, Deceased) v Sundridge Developments Ltd (2019)  the deceased experienced a fracture to her hip after she was found on the floor, lying on her stomach having fallen out of bed. Despite the falls risk assessment identifying the need for bed rails to be erected and the deceased having requested them to be up, the bed rails were not up at the time of the fall on the 3r October 2017.  The defendant care home admitted liability.

The deceased had experienced a minor head injury and was admitted to hospital immediately. On the 9 October, six days later, the deceased was diagnosed as having an intra- capsular fracture of the neck of the femur.  It was decided that she should be managed conservatively and not be surgically treated.  On the 6t November 2017, the deceased was discharged from hospital and died 12 months later of an unrelated caused.

Prior to the fall, the deceased had been mobile using a zimmer frame and for longer distances, a wheelchair.  After the fall, she required an additional seven hours of care per day from her daughter, for the 12 months before her demise.

The claimant was awarded £25,000 for pain, suffering and loss of amenity and £15,000 for past care and assistance.

Authored by Raveena Mehta

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