£5,000 fine handed out
A care home which risked the lives of its vulnerable residents has been ordered to pay fines and costs of just under £5,000.
The Devonia Care Home in Main Road, Southbourne, Emsworth, appeared before Worthing Magistrates Court last Friday (24th June) for failing to comply with an enforcement notice and failure to comply with a prohibition notice.
The court heard that West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service Business Fire Safety Officers first became concerned about the home in May of last year.
Problems highlighted to the home included failing to have a safe and efficient evacuation plan, particularly with regard to non-mobile patients on the first floor; failing to have adequate fire doors; and failing to have adequate fire safety plans and risk assessments in place.
The fire service continued to work with the home, but the business failed to take adequate action.
Further concerns were raised by a safeguarding group in November and when the fire service returned they found no progress in some areas and, in fact, the condition of fire doors had worsened.
The home has now closed.
Owner Helen Green, was ordered to pay £1,500 for failing to comply with an enforcement notice and £1,500 for failing to comply with a prohibition notice, preventing non-mobile residents living on the first floor.
She was also ordered to pay £1,824 towards prosecution costs, along with a £120 surcharge.
Station Manager, Mark Hayter, Sussex Police: “We work with businesses across West Sussex to support compliance and provide safe places for people, especially the more vulnerable members of our community.
“However, when business owners fail to work with us, and place people in their care at risk, we will respond with the full legal force, as we have in this case.
“The magistrates said this case was very serious and in the event of a fire the owner could have been facing manslaughter charges.”
Original source: ITV News