Father’s anger at care home training after death of epileptic son

William Faithful
William Faithful
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A CARE home where a man died following an epileptic fit has been criticised for not having enough staff trained in first aid.

Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Coroner, David Horsley, said it was not good enough that only half the care workers at Stubbington Lane residential home in Stubbington had knowledge of resuscitation.

William Faithful suffered from severe epilepsy and autism and had lived in the care home for seven years.

On September 16 last year the 25-year-old was found slumped on the toilet in his room and began having a fit when two care workers moved him to a bed.

An inquest heard how they had basic training in first aid from a course on the internet in recent years – and had incorrectly performed chest compressions on a bed before paramedics arrived.

Now the company that owns the home, Care Management Group (CMG), has changed its national policy to make sure there is always someone fully first aid trained available during every shift.

Mr Faithful’s father, David Faithful, 70, of Hordle Road, Leigh Park, said not enough had been done to try to save his son’s life.

‘If they weren’t properly trained they shouldn’t have been working in a care home,’ he said.

‘William wasn’t the only person with epilepsy who lived there, so it seems wrong that they didn’t know how to resuscitate people in an emergency.

‘Maybe they’ve taken steps to change things now but that’s not much comfort to me. Nothing can bring my son back.’

The Portsmouth inquest heard how only two staff members were working at the time of the incident, and one had to leave while Mr Faithful was having a fit to attend to other residents.

They also said no mouth protectors – used in mouth-to-mouth resuscitation – were provided by the home.

In addressing Peter Kinsey, the managing director of CMG, coroner Mr Horsley said: ‘It seems to me to be appropriate given the needs of residents, and given that you only had two people on call, that they should be able to do more than just put on a plaster on someone’s finger.

‘Because there was always potential for this sort of thing to happen, and while it is impossible to determine if that training would have saved William’s life, it could certainly save lives in future.’

Mr Horsley recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.

CMG managing director, Peter Kinsey, told the inquest: ‘We have improved first aid training across our homes to make sure that a first aider is always on hand.

‘The programme is being implemented at present across all our 110 homes, and will be in place by the end of the year.’