A care home has been fined £40,000 after a resident with dementia fractured her hip on a broken door, who later died in hospital.

Joyce Hayward was found on the floor of a hallway in Mulberry Care Limited in September 2019 with a door on top of her which had been removed from its hinges two months prior.

She was rushed from the Wokingham Road home to Royal Berkshire Hospital for surgery. 11 days later, on September 19, she died at the hospital.

Managing Director of Mulberry Care Limited Sats Ahluwalia said: “I would like to express my personal sadness and condolences to those who have been affected by this tragic and unfortunate accident.”

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The door was removed during maintenance work and was left in a community hallway of the care home since July 26, 2019 and until the incident.

He continued: “As the managing director I get personally involved in the day-to-day quality audits and what we do regarding the environment, the health and safety as well, and I think we use the appropriate risk management, judgements and quality orders that we carry out within the organisation and this sort of incident that occurred as a one-off is something which should not have happened and as the registered provider I admit to that.”

Mr Ahluwalia said: “I think it is important to emphasise that this is the first time over 26 years of my particular operation that such a tragic incident has occurred.”

Mulberry Care Limited was rated ‘Good’ by the CQC in all areas during its latest inspection in October 2021.

On Thursday, February 17, 2022, the company was fined £40,000 at Reading Magistrates Court for failing to provide safe care and treatment to Ms Hayward, resulting in avoidable harm.

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They were ordered to pay more than £10,000 in costs to the CQC, which brought the prosecution.

CQC head of inspection for adult social care Rebecca Bauers said: “Our sympathies are with those affected by the sad passing of Joyce Hayward.

“She had the right to expect to be kept safe while living in and receiving care from Mulberry Care Limited, but in this case the provider failed in its legal duty to protect her from being exposed to significant harm.

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