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Essex care provider fined after resident dies from sepsis linked to poor catheter care

A care provider prosecuted by the Care Quality Commission has been ordered to pay almost £100,000 after an 87-year-old woman died from sepsis linked to poor catheter care.

Lanemile Limited, which runs Haven Lodge, Clacton-on-Sea, was fined £80,000 at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court.

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

Mary Cridge, CQC deputy chief inspector for adult social care, said it was “a distressing case”.

“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,”  she said.

In August 2016, Mrs Macknay was discharged from hospital with a urinary catheter. to Haven Lodge  for nursing care 

A fortnight later, on 3 September, Mrs Macknay’s daughter visited the home. She found her mother semi-conscious in bed, in considerable distress and calling for help.

She alerted staff who found Mrs Macknay’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.

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

Lanemile had also not ensured a process to monitor how much fluid Mrs Macknay received through a feeding tube, or whether this corresponded with urine collected in her catheter bag.

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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