Missing thermostat lands nursing home in hot water

The owners of West House Nursing Home at Westcliffon- Sea were prosecuted in Southend Magistrates’ Court for a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Rootcroft Limited had to pay a fine and costs of £11,000 along with £500 compensation to an elderly resident.

Michael Ginn was lowered into a bath by two care assistants using a hoist. The water was estimated to be at 72°C, well above the safe limit of 44°C. Mr Ginn sustained serious burns. There was no thermostatic valve to control water temperature. Staff had been told to use a thermometer but no-one checked that they did. In addition, inspectors found that hot and cold water was stored at temperatures which would allow legionella bacteria to grow. The home had also ignored guidance on hot water safety given by the Care Quality Commission and Essex County Council.

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