The Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of nearly £19,000 because of inappropriate bedrail management and usage within its hospitals.
The trust was initially visited by the HSE in February 2012 when issues with bedrail management were identified. A follow-up visit in May of that year showed that no significant improvements mad been made and as a result an Improvement Notice was issued with regard to bedrail management alongside a letter containing various recommendations.
When the trust was inspected again in July 2013 it was shown that while the trust had identified actions to improve bedrail management, these actions had not been implemented. Inappropriate bedrails were found to be still in use and management systems were not appropriate to manage the risks caused. Elements of the failure were the lack of a system to identify and inspect third party bedrails; the lack of planned preventative maintenance on manual beds and bedrails; a lack of an effective system to rectify faults with inappropriate bedrails; a lack of provision of appropriate training, and a lack of procedures to audit and monitor the effectiveness of the bedrail management system.
HSE inspector for the case, Carol Forster, said: “The need for adequate risk assessment and management of third party bedrails has been recognised in the health care sector for a number of years and guidance and advice has been published by the relevant bodies to this effect. Bedrails are used to protect vulnerable people from falling out of bed but the risks from inappropriate use of bedrails include the risk of entrapment by the head or neck, potentially leading to injury or asphyxiation. In this case there was a lack of management systems to recognise the risk of bedrails, apply standards and safety alert information, and a corporate failure to prioritise the need to manage bedrails effectively. The Trust failed to comply with the expected standards and I hope this case will send a strong message to others with responsibilities for bedrail management.”
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of improper bedrail safety management, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Our solicitors have worked on a great deal of cases like this, and are best placed to advise you as to the best course of action. Contact us today to find out if you can claim, and if so, how much it could be worth to you.