Blackpool tragedy leads to tougher rules for carers

Home carers are to be subjected to tougher supervision in Blackpool following an investigation into the death of a D-day veteran who died after suffering burns when he was left overnight in a chair next to his fire.

Thursday, 28th June 2018, 5:09 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th July 2018, 6:16 pm
Coun Maxine Callow
Coun Maxine Callow

Blackpool Council's Safeguarding Board has now completed an independent review into circumstances surrounding the death of Dennis Oldland in November 2016.

The 94-year-old had been visited by a carer from Safehands Ltd, a firm contracted by Blackpool Council to provide care.

An inquest heard Mr Oldland’s carer only stayed seven-and-a-half minutes, instead of the recommended minimum of 25 minutes, when she visited him.

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He was left partially clothed next to the fire, and remained in the chair overnight and is thought to have suffered a mini stroke.

He died in hospital 10 days later but his burn injuries were deemed partially responsible.

The independent review has identified three key areas of improvement and made 11 recommendations.

It says improvements must be made to the way carers are monitored and supervised and this should be "integral" when it comes to the council selecting social care providers.

A report to Wednesday's full meeting of the council said "the finding of inadequate care in this case has learning implications related to

induction, communication between carers and supervisors, monitoring and

supervision, and record keeping."

Commissioners, providers, the client and their family will be included in the process of adopting a care package.

The findings will be included in the council's new Care at Home contract which will be re-tendered later this year.

Coun Maxine Callow, who called for the review, said she welcomed the points which had been made.

She said: "A lot of vulnerable people out there rely on their carers and some have no families.

"I'm sure Mr Oldland's family may get some comfort that although their father suffered like this, perhaps others won't.

"He was a war hero and it is heartbreaking to see what happened to him."

Following the inquest, Blackpool coroner Alan Wilson recorded a narrative verdict, and said the carer’s visit was "inadequate" but fell short of neglect.