Amber Valley Borough Council v Gerald Hudson T/A Milford House

Statement from Amber Valley Borough Council

Our thoughts and sympathies at this moment are with Mrs Bennett’s family. On top of their terrible loss they have had to endure a lengthy wait for the case to come to court and then sit through some very painful evidence over the past two weeks.

This trial represented the culmination of a lengthy, in-depth investigation, by Amber Valley Borough Council officers. During this investigation we were satisfied we had discovered evidence of a systematic failure in health and safety processes, contributing to the incident involving Mrs Bennett, at Milford House in 2012. So, we are pleased with the verdict of the Jury and the fact they agreed with us on the matter of the Personal Activity Monitors.

We hope the Jury’s decision today will have far-reaching consequences for improved health and safety standards in care facilities, not just in the Amber Valley area, but across the whole UK.

Evidence from the case has already been discussed with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Ultimately we would like guidance changes to be made to help ensure furniture and safety devices are properly assessed. This may take some time but in the meantime, care providers and those who commission care services should take note of the issues in this case and ensure that needs of the service user are properly assessed as well as the furniture and safety devices they provide.

Amber Valley Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing & Public Health, Cllr David Taylor, commented: “This verdict is a strong endorsement of the hard work and commitment of our officers, over the past four years, and the importance we placed on this case. I am very pleased we have secured this outcome and hope it leads to an increased awareness of such problems, and ultimately new guidance.”

For further enquiries, please contact Jeremy Hall at Shout!PR on 01636 816667.

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