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Saturday 26th May 2018

£10,000 fine after man died in scalding hot bath

16th October 2008

A mental health charity which ran a Birmingham home where a father-of-three died in a scalding bath has been hit with a £10,000 fine for breaching health and safety rules in the tragedy.

Former Rover worker George Inwood died from a heart attack with 25 per cent burns to his body when 98C hot water came out of the tap during his stay at Lodge Hostel respite home, in Yardley Fields Road, Stechford.

The board of trustees of charity Servol Community Trust, based in Dudley Road, Winson Green, which ran the centre, was also ordered to pay £10,000 costs at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday. The Trust had pleaded guilty to one charge of the Health and Safety at Work Act in failing to ensure the safety of a person other than an employee.

It comes after Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust, which owned the centre, was fined £25,000 plus £9,148 costs in June for breaking health and safety rules including failing to properly assess the building and control water temperature properly. Evidence was heard that a fault with the thermostat had been reported at least five times by nurses but not fixed.

Philip Gayle, acting chief executive of Servol, said: “There have been significant improvements and the judge commended us for those changes. It was a regrettable incident. We take health and safety extremely seriously and robust procedures are now in place.”

Manic depressive widower Mr Inwood, aged 68, of Horrall Road, Sheldon, had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease but staff had not been alerted to his physical needs, particularly getting in and out of the bath.

The patient was allowed to take a bath on his own, but despite his calls for help, when paramedics broke through the bathroom door, Mr Inwood was found dead with the hot tap still running.

An inquest jury recorded that Mr Inwood died as a result of an accident by which neglect contributed due to water from the system being dangerously hot and a lack of understanding of his capabilities and needs.

His son Derek Inwood and wife Debbie are considering civil action.

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