Nottinghamshire care provider fined after woman was raped

Page last updated: 17 September 2021

A care provider has been fined £363,000 after it failed to protect people it cared for from sexual assault.

The care company, which cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to failing to protect a woman who was resident at a care home it runs in Nottinghamshire from abuse and improper treatment. This resulted in her being sexually assaulted.

It also pleaded guilty to exposing the home’s other residents to significant risk of avoidable harm by failing to safeguard them from the risk of abuse.

The company was also ordered to pay £12,441.28 costs to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which prosecuted these criminal offences.

The sentencing took place at Nottingham Magistrates' Court today (Wednesday 15 September).

Mary Cridge, CQC deputy chief inspector for adult social care, said:

“People have a right to safe care and treatment, delivered in an environment where threats to their wellbeing – including abuse – are well managed. Sadly, this care provider did not meet these fundamental standards for residents at the home where this incident took place.

“The company’s failure to protect a vulnerable woman in its care from a resident who was known to present a sexual threat is appalling. The crime she was subjected to was avoidable.

“Similarly, the company’s lack of safeguards to protect all residents at the home from the risk of abuse was unacceptable.

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

“I hope this prosecution reminds care providers they must always take all reasonable steps to manage risks to people’s safety, including ensuring people are safeguarded from abuse.”

CQC brought this prosecution after the care provider failed to manage a resident of one of its homes who exhibited an escalating pattern of sexualised behaviour towards the service’s other residents.

Over the year-and-a-half he was resident, 79 separate incidents were documented where he displayed inappropriate verbal and physical sexualised behaviour and assaulted people. At least eight residents and five staff were affected.

Despite this, and other considerable evidence the service had indicating this person presented a sustained and serious threat to people, it did not manage the risk he posed or escalate concerns appropriately.

In April 2019, its failure to act allowed him to enter a woman’s room to undertake a sexual assault. He was subsequently arrested and convicted of raping her.

Under the Health and Social Care Act, care providers have a legal responsibility to protect people using their services from abuse and improper treatment. This includes implementing systems and processes, such as risk assessments, to prevent physical and mental harm.

Following each incident, committed by this perpetrator or otherwise, the service should have reviewed its risk assessments to respond appropriately and take all reasonable steps to protect people.

At a previous hearing, the company pleaded guilty to failing to protect the woman who was assaulted in April 2019 from abuse and improper treatment. It also pleaded guilty to exposing the home’s other residents to significant risk of avoidable harm by failing to safeguard them from the risk of abuse.

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About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.