Care provider ordered to pay £11K after failing to tell family full details of woman's death

 190722 Avenues Care Home Meridian
Jean Herring was living at Avenues Care Centre, one of Premiere Care (Southern) Limited's care homes. Credit: ITV Meridian

A care provider operating a home in Margate has been ordered to pay £11,371 after admitting it failed to inform the family of a women who fell from a height about the incident.

Jean Herring was living in one of Premiere Care (Southern) Limited's care homes.

She died after falling from an upper extension roof while trying to leave the Avenues Care Centre - formerly known as The Grosvenor Court - in Kent.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) brought the prosecution after it emerged the care provider didn't share details in a timely manner of what happened when Ms Herring died in January 2019.

At Folkestone Magistrates' Court, Premiere Care (Southern) Limited admitted it failed to inform and apologise to the appropriate person after the event.

Premiere Care (Southern) Limited, was fined £3300 (£1650 for each charge) in court on Monday (18 July).

It was also ordered to pay £181 victim surcharge and £7890.61 costs to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which brought the prosecution.

Under the Health and Social Care Act, care providers must act with openness and transparency, and provide a timely apology to people receiving care, or their relatives, in the event of a serious incident.

Family members confirmed that they have not received verbal or written confirmation of the event that led to the death of Jean Herring or an apology.

Premiere Care (Southern) Limited operates three care homes in England, including The Avenues Care Centre which is a residential care home providing personal and nursing care for up to 51 people.

'All care providers have a duty to be open and transparent'

Hazel Roberts, CQC head of inspection for adult social care, said: "Our sympathies are with Jean’s family following this tragic death, and we were concerned that the provider Premiere Care (Southern) Limited did not take the opportunity to inform the family or apologise at the earliest opportunity.

"All care providers have a duty to be open and transparent with people living in their services and their loved ones, particularly when something goes wrong, and this case sends a clear message that we will not hesitate to take action when that does not happen.

"People using any type of health or social care service have a right to be informed about all elements of their care and treatment - and, all providers have a responsibility to be open and honest with those in their care. Premiere Care (Southern) Limited failed to meet that responsibility in a timely manner, which is why the CQC took this action.

"I hope the outcome of this prosecution reminds care providers of their duty to assess and manage all risks to ensure people are kept safe".