GROSS NEGLIGENCE / CORPORATE MANSLAUGHTER Hertfordshire, EnglandHome > Blog > GROSS NEGLIGENCE / CORPORATE MANSLAUGHTER Hertfordshire, England
Inquest reveals probe into nursing home
A HISTORY of poor practice at a Radlett nursing home was revealed during an inquest last week.
Houndswood House nursing home in Harper Lane came under policeinvestigation in 2004 to discover whether any gross negligence,tantamount to corporate manslaughter, had taken place there.
Hertfordshire Constabulary became involved after concerns were
raisedby staff at Hatford General Hospital about the condition of
four patients who had been admitted from the home.
Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sparrow said that the four were
exhibiting symptoms such as pressure sores and dehydration
suggesting they might have been neglected and a multi-agency
investigation was launched.
An inquest held last Wednesday into the death of former Houndswood
resident Robert Chin was held to determine the factors that contributed
to his death.
Although not one of the four patients who had generated suspicion
among Watford General staff originally, Mr Chin’s condition when he
entered hospital, in August 2004, was similar to theirs.
A 65-year-old man, suffering from severe dementia and immobility,
he was dehydrated, malnourished and had pressure-related ulcers
infected with MRSA. Consultant physician at Watford General Hospital
Dr William Wallace said Mr Chin’s sodium level, an indication of
dehydration, was among the highest he had ever seen. However,
Mr Chin contracted an infection while in hospital and died on August 10.
Coroner Edward Thomas listed the causes of his death as multiple
organ failure and sepsis (infections), caused ultimately by his dementia.
He also listed Mr Chin’s infected pressure sores as a significant contributory
factor to his death.
The inquest heard Mr Chin had been transferred to Houndswood from
hospital after a residential care home could no longer cope with his condition.
The coroner’s narrative verdict on Mr Chin’s death, based on evidence
from the police investigation, stated that there was little documentation
kept by the home to show whether adequate care had been given for
treatment of the ulcers.
She said that national minimum standards were now almost being met.