Council fined £500,000 over care failures following retired Chesterfield midwife's death

A former Chesterfield midwife who dedicated her life to caring for others died following a fall at an Eckington care home after staff failed to report her injuries to the emergency services, a court heard.

Monday, 9th December 2019, 4:52 pm
Updated Monday, 16th December 2019, 2:35 pm

Audrey Allen died in April 2016 after suffering multiple falls at the Grange Care Home, in Southgate, and on the final occasion complained of severe pain to her chest, Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court heard today, Monday, November 9.

But instead of calling 999, they put her to bed and found her unconscious in the early hours of the following morning, March 25, 2016.

But when emergency services were called, staff still failed to notify them of her injuries and she died in hospital on April 16, 2016.

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Audrey Allen
Audrey Allen

She had fractured twelve ribs, torn her lung and subsequently died of a haemorrhage, the court heard.

The court heard that it was her 14th fall while at the Grange - run by Derbyshire County Council - although an earlier coroner’s court hearing recorded 25 falls at the home over a three-month period.

Family described Miss Allen as a much loved family member who was utterly dedicated to her job.

In a victim impact statement, niece Jacky Lovelock said Miss Lovelock never married but was much-loved by her family and had a passion for animals - showing West Highland terriers as a hobby.

Audrey Allen

She was initially moved to the Stavely Centre, but following a fall and a stay in hospital, she was moved to The Grange.

Prosecuting for the Care Quality Commission, Ryan Donoghue said that Derbyshire County Council had admitted failing Miss Allen on numerous counts, including properly assessing her, failing to instigate protective measures, and failing to refer her to a specialist falls team.

The authority admitted failing to provide adequate care at a previous hearing.

Fining the authority £500,000, District Judge Jonathan Taaffe said: “Derbyshire County Council has offered a full apology to the family but I suspect this is little comfort, and I am sure they are asking how this could happen in a care home that was rated as good by the Care Quality Commission and why there has been no individual accountability.”