Rotherham care workers suspended after 'coma' death

Lord Hardy Court care home Five employees at Lord Hardy Court in Rawmarsh have been suspended

Five workers have been suspended after an elderly woman died at a council-run care home in South Yorkshire.

The woman died at Lord Hardy Court care home in Rawmarsh, Rotherham, after she was thought to have gone into a coma.

Rotherham Borough Council said investigations were ongoing and the suspensions were "a neutral act, in relation to a safeguarding issue".

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said it was monitoring the case and would "take any regulatory action necessary".

The independent regulator said it was informed by the council on 10 June that a resident of Lord Hardy Court had suffered a fall and been admitted to hospital.

Cuts expected

"Sadly this person subsequently passed away and the case is now subject to investigation by the local authority's safeguarding team," the CQC said..

"On 11 June, the CQC was also notified that five members of staff had been suspended pending the investigation findings."

The BBC understands that three day and two night workers have been suspended over allegations the elderly woman was left for 24 hours because staff believed she was asleep.

An inquest is due to take place but a date has not yet been set.

Lord Hardy Court is one of two 60-bed residential care homes run by Rotherham council for elderly people with dementia and mental health problems. The other is Davies Court in Dinnington.

Both homes are to be restructured as part of a review by the council. Up to 70 workers are expected to be made redundant as the council seeks to make £20m of savings.

This story was amended on 11 July 2013 in the light of an updated statement from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) clarifying that it was informed by Rotherham Borough Council on 10 June that a resident at Lord Hardy Court had been admitted to hospital after a fall.

The CQC said it had apologised to Rotherham Borough Council for the inaccuracy of its original comment.

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