Ryan Donoghue was instructed by the CQC in its first prosecution of a local authority. Derbyshire County Council was charged with failing to provide safe care and treatment resulting in avoidable harm to a service user, Audrey Allen.
Ms Allen was a resident at The Grange care home – a home operated by the Council – from December 2015 to March 2016. On 25th March 2016, Ms Allen suffered a fall at the home and sustained multiple rib fractures, in turn causing a laceration to her lung which ultimately led to her death. The Council’s failures included a failure to ensure it had an up-to-date and fit for purpose falls policy, a failure to implement its own policy effectively, a failure to complete necessary risk assessments at any point during Ms Allen’s stay despite her suffering 13 previous falls in a three-and-a-half month period at the home, and a failure to implement any protective or preventative measures to alleviate the risk of Ms Allen falling and suffering injury.
The Council entered a guilty plea and was fined £500,000, the highest fine imposed upon any defendant in a prosecution brought by the CQC to-date.