Edinburgh carer struck off after hoist fall leads to death of 90-year-old woman

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Agency worker Edward Boateng has been struck off and Lorna Allan sanctioned over the incident at the Capital’s troubled Drumbrae Care Home.

The negligence of two Edinburgh carers caused a 90-year-old woman to fall from a hoist and later die in hospital, it has been ruled.

Agency worker Edward Boateng has been struck off and Lorna Allan sanctioned over the incident at the Capital’s troubled Drumbrae Care Home.

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Edward Boateng, who was employed as an agency worker at the home by ASA Recruitment at the time of the fall on May 3, 2019, was banned from working in the care sector.

Drumbrae care home closed due to a huge refurbishment billDrumbrae care home closed due to a huge refurbishment bill
Drumbrae care home closed due to a huge refurbishment bill

The Scottish Social Services Council concluded that he had ‘failed to ensure that all four points of a sling were attached to the hoist’ before lifting the woman, referred to as service user AA, from her bed.

The pensioner was taken to hospital after falling, where she died from bronchopneumonia.

According to a decision by the watchdog, Boateng ‘attempted to conceal’ the fact that he had failed to attach the two clips at his side of the hoist.

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Meanwhile, Lorna Allan, who was a permanent social care assistant at the home, was given a warning of five years for her role in the fall.

Allan had been paired with Boateng to look after the resident that day, despite the former’s objections over her having to do extra work as some service users did not want personal care carried out by male staff.

It was judged that Allan failed to ensure that Boateng had properly attached the sling, although he had ‘created the visual impression’ that it was fastened.

“The lifting operation controlled by you was not performed gently or gradually”, the watchdog told Allan.

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“If it had been, the failure to securely attach the sling to the hoist at all four points would have been apparent when AA was still (relatively) safely over the bed.”

The OAP ‘emerged from the sling and fell to the floor’ while being moved to her right, according to the report. She hit her head and was later found to have suffered a bleed on the brain, with the SSSC concluding that ‘the fall caused the death’.

It continues: “When you (Allan) were out of the room, ZZ (Boateng) did not attend to AA. He put the clip that had detached, or had never been attached, back over the lug.

“ZZ (Boateng) reattached the clip in order to conceal the fact that he had failed to attach, or attach properly, both clips over their respective lugs. He did so dishonestly, to mislead those investigating what had happened.”

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During a 10-day hearing at Murrayfield Stadium Conference Centre, Boateng claimed that the woman had fallen because Allan had not attached a leg clip.

He suggested that there had been a conspiracy to blame him for the events because he was not a permanent employee at the home, an assertion which was rejected by the watchdog.

Drumbrae opened in 2013 but has lain empty since December 2021 after plans for the NHS to take it over and use it as a complex care centre fell apart due to a £10 million refurbishment bill.

In 2020, bosses were ordered by the Care Inspectorate to make urgent improvements after concerns over the quality of staff and medication arrangements were raised.

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The closure of the home has sparked a major backlash with family members of residents facing long journeys to visit loved ones due to a lack of other local facilities.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “A report was submitted to the Procurator Fiscal following the death of a 90-year-old woman in Edinburgh in May, 2019.”

The Evening News approached ASA Recruitment and City of Edinburgh Council for comment.

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