Blackpool Council apologises to stroke victim left too close to hot radiator

The woman suffered burns to her leg
The woman suffered burns to her leg
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Social care chiefs have tightened up procedures following an incident in which a vulnerable Blackpool woman suffered serious burns while being looked after by carers commissioned by Blackpool Council.

Karen Smith, director of adult services at the authority, said a formal apology had also been made to the woman and her daughter.

The unnamed woman, who had suffered a stroke, sustained burns to her leg after she was left on a commode in her bathroom too close to a hot radiator.

The incident was revealed when a report was published in January by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO).

Ms Smith told a meeting of the council's adult social care and health scrutiny committee: "We have done a substantial amount of work with the agency concerned and all of the other agencies on that contract, including those fresh to the contract.

"Risk assessments have been completely revised in light of the learnings from this sad case."

The woman is now living in residential care.

Coun Maxine Callow said the council had a duty to do all it could to protect vulnerable people.

She said: "You need to be a special sort of person to be a carer, but it must take away some of people's confidence in the care service when this can happen to such a vulnerable lady."

Coun Callow added: "We must try as a council to make sure as far as we are concerned that the people caring for our vulnerable residents are top rate.

"It's not an easy job but as a council we have responsibility to make sure we are doing all we can to protect these vulnerable people."

The council was ordered by the ombudsman to pay compensation of £5,000 to the woman and £500 to her daughter.

Coun Callow said this "won't make up for this lady having to go into residential care and give up her home."

The woman was being looked after in her home by carers commissioned by the council from I Care (GB) Limited, based in Kincraig Road at the time of the incident in October 2017.

It took carers almost three hours to realise she needed urgent medical attention, the LGO report said.