Isle of Man care home business fined for Health and Safety breaches
29 March 2022
ELDER HEALTHCARE, which runs care homes on the Isle of Man, has been fined the sum of £46,000 for Health and Safety breaches after a 96-year-old woman died in a fire at her sheltered apartment back in November 2019.
Although Elder Healthcare was not to blame for the tragic death of Ms Olive Renecle (who perished in her sheltered accommodation, which was connected to the Elder Grange care home located in Douglas), “shortcomings” were found in relation to fire safety training and procedures within the business.
During the court proceedings, it emerged that smoke and heat detectors were linked to the Nurse Call Centre at the home, with those on duty required to discharge emergency assistance to the residents living in the sheltered accommodation that’s located on Fuchsia Lane and also at Fuchsia Court.
Apparently, a smoke detector triggered the call system on 17 November 2019, but members of staff were unsure as to which flat the alarm related to due to problems with the documentation and contact lists. The list referenced by the nursing staff showed those flats numbered from 1 through to 22 only (with Ms Renecle residing at Number 32).
Checks were made in the home, but not in the sheltered flats some 100 metres distant. Given that they were not able to identify the source of the alarm, staff temporarily silenced it and, at that point, didn’t call the Fire and Rescue Service.
Subsequently, a neighbour of Ms Renecle’s dialled 999 after noticing smoke coming from the flat. Firefighters attended the scene. Ms Renecle was transported to the nearest hospital, but later died.
In addition to the £46,000 fine, Elder Healthcare has been ordered to pay a further £4,000 in prosecution costs. Presiding in court, Deemster Cook noted that the firm needed to be aware of the fact that “[an incident of] this [nature] must never happen again”.The company, which runs both the Elder Grange and Springfield Grange care homes on the Isle of Man, has claimed that it has now updated all relevant contact lists, while training has been revised and updated and fire risk assessments duly put in place.