Man, 98, died after fall from Grantham care home’s first floor window – coroner

Belvoir House Care Home, Grantham.

Belvoir House Care Home, Grantham.

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An inquest has found that a 98-year-old man who fell out of a window of a care home died as a result of his injuries.

Kenneth Snell fell from his bedroom window at 
Belvoir House Care Home in Grantham on November 19, 2015, and died at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham four days later.

In a narrative verdict, assistant coroner Richard Marshall said that that Mr Snell was allocated a single bedroom on the first floor of the care home in August 2015 when he was expected to stay in for respite care, but he remained there until November.

Mr Marshall said that Mr Snell suffered multiple fractures and was taken to QMC, where he died on November 23, 2015.

The verdict says he died of “bronchopneumonia as a consequence of immobility due to the injuries sustained in the fall”.

Mr Marshall added: “The windows in the house were in a poor condition and although there were security chains in place these were inadequate in that they could easily be removed by occupants, as happened in this case.”

Before his move to the care home, Mr Snell had been living at home with support from neighbours. He had a number of medical conditions typical of a person of his age.

Zeenat Jagroo, of the home’s service provider, told the Journal: “We are very sorry for what happened and we take full responsibility. We immediately resolved what we had to put in place.”

Last year, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited the care home, in Brownlow Street, and in its report said Mr Snell had opened a window and tried to lower himself down because he “wanted to go home”.

The CQC said the care home required improvement with regards to safety and leadership, stating: “The concerns related to an 
accident that had occurred when a person who lived in the service had opened a window that was located above the ground floor level.

“They had fallen out and been injured.”

During the CQC inspection it was discovered that the window out of which Mr Snell fell had been fitted with a safety latch which did not comply with national guidance.

The inspector said the latch was not lockable and that the window could be opened in a way that “increased the risk of accidental injury”.