Focus on health and safety and what can happen if it goes wrong

19 February 2016

I would like to focus this week’s blog on health and safety. Whilst this might not be considered a very exciting topic for some, it is an incredibly important focus for CMG and one in which I think we are undertaking some innovative work.

Faye Doncaster runs our health and safety department. As a former physiotherapist, manager of CMG services, trainer and now qualified health and safety practitioner, Faye brings great expertise and compassion to her role.

CMG’s approach to health and safety is very inclusive and we have recently launched a new health and safety sub-committee. The sub-committee members comprise of CMG managers, deputy managers and lead support workers, who have a particular interest in health and safety and provide valuable contributions to the group through their vast health and safety and fire safety knowledge and experience.

We are also about to launch a further health and safety focus group comprising of the people we support who will be trained and skilled up in areas such as fire safety, emergency procedures and first aid. Not only that but they will share this knowledge amongst other services in their regions and help design accessible health and safety resources.

Whilst these posts above are voluntary, CMG has achieved some great success stories with helping the people we support into paid employment within CMG. For example we employ 20 gardeners who work in their local areas. CMG provides annual health and safety training to all these individuals, as well as supplying all gardening tools plus personal protective equipment. The next annual refresher course will be held in the garden of The Green in Sutton and I would like to thank Emeka, Liam and their team for hosting this.

We have a positive fire safety culture in CMG and have some great on-line training resources to fully prepare our staff for fire marshal responsibilities, CQC inspections and fire safety inspections. Additionally we have developed a fire safety and fire marshal course with very positive feedback and I am pleased we are able to offer this valuable face to face learning.

On a less positive note, we are reminded of the importance of adhering to health and safety processes, by the sad death of an elderly service user who died from exposure to Legionella ,in a care facility operated by Reading Borough Council. This gentleman had previously been in hospital having suffered a broken leg and was attending the care home to receive intermediate care before returning to his own home. During his stay he developed symptoms of aches and pains, difficulty in breathing and nausea. He was re-admitted to hospital and was diagnosed with Legionnaire’s disease and later died from pneumonia related to Legionella. Reading Borough Council has since been prosecuted for his death for failing to provide adequate staff training and inadequate monitoring and checking. You can read the full story by following this link: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/council-sentenced-after-legionella-death-at-care-home/?eban=govdel-press-release&cr=21-Jan-2016

Whilst CMG already has robust controls in place to prevent Legionella, we have re-issued this guidance to all CMG services, in light of this case.

If you would like to be more involved in health and safety in your service, please contact faye.doncaster@cmg.co.uk.

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