Council bosses admit social care shortcomings following death

SOCIAL care bosses have admitted failings following the death of a man with sight problems who fell at a Hampshire care home.

An inquest heard how 84-year-old Gordon Penistan – who suffered from dementia and a condition which affected his vision – died following a fall at Otterbourne Grange residential home, in Otterbourne, in May.

Mr Penistan, who had was admitted to the home on the day of his fall, was taken to Royal Hampshire County Hospital (RHCH), where a scan revealed that he had suffered head trauma, which he died from a shortly after

Social care bosses at Hampshire County Council (HCC) have admitted shortcomings in the way Mr Penistan’s case was handled, which came around month after a new ‘brokerage team’ was set up to help placements.

Winchester Coroner’s Court heard heard that Mr Penistan had previously been a resident at The White House in Sutton Scotney, and that his social care was being funded by his family, but due to financial issues, it was arranged with HCC that Mr Peniston would move.

However, Jacqueline Malee, a safeguarding quality and governance consultant at the council, told the inquest that because of Mr Penistan’s medical problems he “should have had a ‘best interests’ meeting” before a decision to move him was made.

On the day of Mr Penistan’s arrival Otterbourne Grange he had become agitated due to the move, and was left alone for a short time. When workmen carrying out refurbishment began drilling, this appeared to agitate him further. He got up and headed in the direction of the workmen, but fell.

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, senior coroner Grahame Short said: “HCC have acknowledged that the brokerage team was inexperienced and there was a number of shortcomings, especially that there was no best interests meeting. I know changes have been put in place and some are still under way by HCC. Hopefully they will prevent others from having the same experience.”

A council spokesperson said: “We would again like to send our sincere condolences to Mr Penistan’s family. In addition to our own review we will ensure the coroner’s findings and recommendations are fully implemented.”