Watchdog brands Notts care home’s failure to prevent rape 'appalling'

The adult social care watchdog has branded a Nottinghamshire care provider’s failure to prevent a male resident from raping a female resident despite an ‘escalating pattern’ of threat as ‘appalling’.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 11:30 am

Service users and staff at the home, which cannot be identified for legal reasons, were also put at risk over 17 months, when 79 separate incidents of ‘verbal or physical sexualised behaviour’ by the same resident were recorded against eight service users and five members of staff.

Jemima Stephenson, prosecuting for the Care Quality Commission at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court yesterday, said, although the behaviour was documented, staff did not manage the risk he posed.

Mary Cridge, CQC deputy chief inspector for adult social care, said: “People have a right to safe care and treatment, delivered in an environment where threats to their wellbeing – including abuse – are well managed.

Read the latest stories from Nottingham Magistrates Court.

"Sadly, this care provider did not meet these fundamental standards for residents at the home where this incident took place.

“The company’s failure to protect a vulnerable woman in its care from a resident who was known to present a sexual threat is appalling.

"The crime she was subjected to was avoidable.

“Similarly, the company’s lack of safeguards to protect all residents at the home from the risk of abuse was unacceptable.

“The majority of care providers do an excellent job. However, when a provider puts people in its care at risk of harm, we take action to hold it to account and protect people.

“I hope this prosecution reminds care providers they must always take all reasonable steps to manage risks to people’s safety, including ensuring people are safeguarded from abuse.”

Under the Health and Social Care Act, care providers have a legal responsibility to protect people using their services from abuse and improper treatment.

Following each incident, committed by this perpetrator or otherwise, the service should have reviewed its risk assessments to respond appropriately and take all reasonable steps to protect people, the CQC said.

At a previous hearing, the company pleaded guilty to failing to protect the woman who was assaulted in April 2019 from abuse and improper treatment.

It also pleaded guilty to exposing the home’s other residents to significant risk of avoidable harm.

The provider was fined £363,000 with court costs of £12,441.

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