North West NHS Foundation Trust has been fined over inappropriate management of the use of bedrails. Following a guilty plea in the Magistrates’ Court the District Judge referred the case to Carlisle Crown Court for sentencing. HSE told the court that University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust failed to ensure that they managed the risk of bedrails, which is a fundamental element of patient safety for which extensive and comprehensive guidance on risk, management and policies existed.
The Court was told that the Trust had a policy on bedrail management but did not have the systems or procedures to underpin the implementation of the policy.
Elements of the failure were the lack of a system to identify and inspect third party bedrails; the lack of planned preventative maintenance on manual beds and bedrails; a lack of an effective system to rectify faults with inappropriate bedrails; lack of provision of appropriate training, and a lack of procedures to audit and monitor the effectiveness of the bedrail management system. Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, admitted breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £18,465.
HSE Inspector Carol Forster said “Bedrails are used to protect vulnerable people from falling out of bed but the risks from inappropriate use of bedrails include the risk of entrapment by the head or neck, potentially leading to injury or asphyxiation.”
Ask about our Free Bedroom Audit, which includes inspection of profiling beds and side rails, with a complimentary written report. Call 01743 440011 to book an assessment.