Home slammed after tragic fall

Abbeydale Care Home, South Promenade
Abbeydale Care Home, South Promenade
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A SOUTH Shore care home was the subject of a scathing report by Blackpool’s Coroner after an 84-year-old resident fell down the stairs and died.

Lilian Riley fractured her neck after the fall at the Abbeydale Care Home on South Promenade in March 2010.

The pensioner, who was suffering from dementia, died after tripping down a flight of stairs as she collected her handbag.

At the inquest into her death, Blackpool Coroner Anne Hind levelled criticism at the risk assessment carried out on Mrs Riley at the home.

She said: “This is a very sloppy and inaccurate piece of work. I’m not saying this was a direct cause of what came next, but lessons need to be learned.”

The risk assessment had inaccurate information about Mrs Riley’s age, medication and the fact she had fallen in the past. This led her to be deemed a medium risk instead of high.

Tony Hurst, Mrs Riley’s son said he believed his mother should have been given access to the home’s lift which is only accessible using a number code.

But the inquest heard how staff at Abbeydale would typically escort residents to the lift, or take them to their rooms personally.

On the day of Mrs Riley’s death, she had been taking part in a craft activity and forgot her handbag.

A care assistant offered to get the bag after serving tea, but Mrs Riley left to get it herself without being seen.

Staff explained how the medium risk category would not have affected her care as patients were assessed on an individual basis.

Manager Catherine McKay said: “Mrs Riley was quite agile and used the stairs because she refused to go in the lift.”

The serious case review held after the death was also criticised for having come to no conclusion.

Recording a verdict of accidental death Mrs Hind said: “A person has fallen down the stairs and been killed and yet nowhere in the report does it say, ‘this must never happen again’.”

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Hurst said: “We’re afraid more people will suffer as no steps have been put in place to stop this happening again. No lessons have been learned from my mother’s death.”

A spokesman for the Abbeydale Care Home said: “We accept the coroner had some criticisms of the risk assessment, however, the content of this was based on the very limited information available at the time. We take this process very seriously and strive to provide the highest standard of care at all times.”