Carers left Blackpool woman by hot radiator, investigation finds

Burns suffered by Blackpool woman Image copyright LGO
Image caption The woman suffered nine burns up to 12.5cm long and 2cm wide on her thigh.

A vulnerable woman was left "screaming in pain" from burns she suffered after being left too close to a hot radiator, an investigation has found.

The unnamed woman, who had suffered a stroke, was being cared for in her own home by agency workers from ICare.

It took them almost three hours to realise she needed urgent medical attention, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) said.

Blackpool Council, which is responsible for her care, has apologised.

The LGO said the authority should pay the woman £5,000 in compensation.

The woman, who had limited feeling in her right side and difficulty talking, suffered nine burns on her thigh up to five inches (12.5cm) long.

Failures and delays

The LGO investigation found she was burned after being left on a commode in her bathroom while being attended by two carers in the morning on 20 October 2017.

But it wasn't until after 11:00 before the agency phoned the council's adult social care team to report the woman had nine red marks on her leg and was "screaming in pain".

A social care officer advised the manager to call paramedics if urgent, said the LGO.

A series of failings were noted in the report, published in December:

  • Failure to complete adequate risk assessments or provide safe care
  • Failure to to seek timely medical attention
  • ICare accused of "failing to provide an accurate account of what happened"
  • Case records were considered "misleading" suggesting paramedics said the injury was not from that day

The LGO report also said there was a delay in the council's investigation due to staff sickness.


The woman received hospital treatment, but her wounds became infected. She has been unable to return home and now lives in a care home.

Councillor Amy Cross from Blackpool Council said: "Anyone receiving care in their home should have total confidence that they are going to be looked after in a safe and caring way.

"I was horrified when I saw the picture of the injury that this lady suffered. On behalf of the council I unreservedly apologise for the distress that she and her family have experienced.

It is not acceptable and it should not have happened. We have worked very closely with the company delivering this care and all our other providers to ensure that risks such as this are better managed in the future."

I Care Limited has been contacted for comment.

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