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Euxton care home faces court over choking death
6:00am Sunday 27th October 2013 in News
A care provider is to be prosecuted after an elderly resident choked to death on fish and chips at an Euxton home.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is bringing criminal proceedings against Four Seasons Health Care Ltd following the incident at Euxton Park Care Home on December 1, 2010.
Rita Smith, who suffered from the early onset of dementia and motor neuron disease, should only have eaten pureed food, supervised by a carer, as she had swallowing difficulties and was at risk of choking.
But the 75-year-old was given fish and chips during a film and supper evening.
Four Seasons Health Care which runs more than 500 care homes and specialist care centres in the UK, has been charged with breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
A spokesman for Euxton Park Care Home said: “Mrs Smith’s death was a tragic loss. Our thoughts and sympathies go out again to her family at this time. It was also deeply distressing for the staff who cared for her. We accept that being offered solid food led to her death. We are deeply sorry for the errors that ultimately led to this terrible accident.
“It is poignant that it occurred as a result of well-intentioned staff providing an evening’s entertainment and a treat for residents.
“As a result of this incident we have made changes to improve risk management and reporting relating to diet.
“However, it is our view that this tragedy was the result of human error, for which we must accept responsibility.