• Coroner calls on CQC to examine care staff training in wake of choking death

    A SENIOR CORONER has written to the both the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the Department of Health (DoH) raising his concerns about the lack of any formal First Aid training requirements for care staff in the sector.

    Dr. Peter Dean, the senior coroner for Suffolk, took the decision to publish his concerns in a ‘Regulation 28’ report which is designed to prevent future deaths. His comments were made after he held an inquest into the death of 55 year old care home resident Ashley Notson, who died after choking on a piece of meat in a unnamed care home.

    Mr Notson was taken to hospital where he later died after the choking incident. Despite attempts to save him by staff which included the use of abdominal thrusts, he passed away as a result of Hypoxic Brain Injury which caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain.

    The inquest, held earlier this month heard that ‘…the law does not currently require care providers to ensure that carers in a care home have first aid training’, something that Dechoker UK have previously raised concerns about when it reviewed the CQC requirements last year.

    Dr. Peter Green, Senior Coroner for Suffolk

    Writing in his report, Dr. Dean said ‘…it is clearly forseeable that additional problems could occur in another care home if carers did not have first aid training…’.

    He continued, ‘I would ask [the] CQC and the Department of Health to give consideration to amending the current legal framework to ensure care staff are all suitably trained.’

    Both the CQC and the Department of Health are legally bound to respond to Dr. Dean’s comments by the 24th August 2018 with the Chief Coroner also receiving a copy of the response.

    Earlier this month, Dechoker released figures obtained from Office for National Statistics (ONS) that showed the number of choking deaths in the care sector has risen to over 70 a year in England and Wales. This figure could be more than three times higher than reported due to the way that place of death is recorded, with nearly 300 people dying from choking in hospital.

    Matt Oakley of Dechoker UK said, ‘This particular case highlights exactly why the official figures do not represent a true picture of the problem.’

    He continued, ‘Although Mr Notson became unresponsive in the care home where he lived, his place of death will have been recorded as in hospital and will not be included in the care home choking death figures for 2018

    At present, the CQC are not able to report on the either the number of choking incidents, or the number of choking deaths in the adult care sector for which they are responsible for monitoring. This is due to the way they record and access the data sent to them regarding incidents, accidents and deaths. Earlier this year Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at the CQC told us that changes were ‘being considered‘ in order to improve the way they store and access their data.

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    UPDATE: 21.08.18 @ 15:36

    The Regulation 28 report is available in the public domain and can be found on the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website. We have provided a link below, please note we cannot be responsible for the content other sites.

    https://www.judiciary.uk/publications/ashley-notson/