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Bupa staff were not trained to use bedrails

Healthcare group Bupa has been fined £400,000 for the inappropriate management of bedrails, used to help prevent vulnerable people falling out of bed, at Beacon Edge Specialist Nursing Home in Penrith, Cumbria. 

Bupa staff were not trained to use bedrails
©Jeff Blackler/REX/Shutterstock

Josephine Millard, 91, was found dead next to her bed on 24 September 2013. The charges were brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which found Bupa Care Homes (CFC Homes) failed to review bedrail arrangements, and did not train staff how to appropriately assess and safely use them.
Following an earlier guilty plea at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court, the district judge referred the case to Carlisle Crown Court for sentencing. It heard that the company’s bedrail management policy was not fully implemented because staff were not trained and assessments not conducted or reviewed when required.
The reviews of the bedrail assessment should have identified further measures to prevent the risk of falls, however staff carrying out the initial assessment and reviews were not adequately trained. Measures identified to protect the victim were not correctly implemented and increased checks on her were not carried out, despite recommendations from a medical professional.
Bupa Care Homes (CFC Homes) pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and Regulation 9 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, which requires employees using work equipment to have received training. It was fined and ordered to pay more than £15,200 in costs.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Carol Forster said: “In this case there was a lack of appropriate assessment of the residents’ changing needs and review of the control measures in place to protect her. The measures that were in place were not used correctly in that the sensor pad which would have alerted staff to the resident’s being out of the bed was not switched on.”


Keeley Downey was the former assistant editor of IOSH Magazine. Previously she was editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine


  • The court costs were £15,200

    Permalink Submitted by Gary Smith on 1 June 2016 - 03:41 pm

    The court costs were £15,200 and the fine was £400,000. It would be interesting to know what the HSE FFI bill was as really this is part of the punishment - This should be published. I am sure the FFI bill would have been presented in court as a way of mitigating the fine or even cost award so it should be reported.


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