Edinburgh carer caused woman to 'tumble out of hoist' and she later died

The carer was an agency worker at Drumbrae Care Home
The carer was an agency worker at Drumbrae Care Home -Credit:Google Maps

An Edinburgh carer has been accused of failing to properly care for a woman who required hospitalisation - and subsequently died - after she fell out of a hoist.

Edward Boateng allegedly didn't ensure all four points of a sling were attached to the hoist, while lifting a patient from her bed. The patient then fell, sustained serious injuries before developing bronchopneumonia and dying.

The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) said Boateng was "dishonest" and attempted to conceal the fact that he failed to attach two clips of the hoist.

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The incident happened on May 3, 2019, while Boateng was employed at Drumbrae Care Home. The patient was 90 years-old at the time and suffered from various conditions that meant she relied on assistance for the "tasks of daily living".

Boateng was an agency worker assigned to Drumbrae through ASA Recruitment on the day of the incident. He was paired with another carer, who was a full-time member of staff at the facility.

In a report from the SSSC, they said: "Although the use of hoists and slings in care homes is a common occurrence, it is nevertheless an operation that carries with it the risk of grave injury to the person being hoisted.

"If not done correctly and carefully, it carries a risk to the workers. It is not a remote risk. The risk of severe injury or death is present when a person is lifted with hoist."

According to the report, Boateng was tasked with securing the hoist on one side - with the other full-time carer securing the opposite side. It's said that he "did not put the clip on the strap securely", though "created the visual impression" that he had.

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After the patient fell, the full-time carer reportedly left the room and Boateng allegedly attached the clips that had previously not been secured - so "dishonestly misleading" those investigating to think he had done his job correctly.

Paramedics arrived and took the patient to hospital at around 9.30am. The SSSC continued: "You failed to ensure all four points of the sling were attached to the hoist. The fall is likely to have been prevented if a tug test had been conducted."

The patient fractured her left tibia and fibula and hit her head. It was found she had suffered a bleed on the brain, and she developed bronchopneumonia.

She died in hospital on May 15, 2019. Boateng reportedly apologised for the incident, though maintained he "did not replace the clip while others were out of the room".

The SSSC continued: "The failure to attach and check the clip, though one-off, was a failure to carry out a safety-critical task that had very serious consequences.

"The failure was not just the failure to attach but was also the failure to use a tug test to check your attachments. You then dishonestly reattached the clip.

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"We are not satisfied that you have had training or experience since the date of the incident to reassure us that you do not pose a continuing risk to service users. We consider this a case in which there is a public protection issue because of the combination of poor practice and dishonesty.

"A failure to make a finding of impairment would risk the- reputation of the social services workforce and its regulator. We consider that your fitness to practise is currently impaired."

The authority ruled that a removal order is necessary for the "protection of the public". They added: "It is not the kind of exceptional case in which taking no action would be appropriate.

"We considered a warning but the conduct, particularly the persistent dishonesty, means that a warning would not be an appropriate disposal. We considered imposing conditions, but there are no workable and enforceable conditions that would address the dishonesty.

"Conditions and a warning were not appropriate for the reasons we have given. This is not a case where a suspension with or without conditions would be appropriate."

ASA Recruitment and Drumbrae Care Home has been approached for comment.