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Barnet Alliance slams Barnet Borough Council for renewing contract with Fremantle
Campaigners want Barnet Borough Council to cancel its contract with a care home provider that caused the death of an elderly woman.
Fremantle Trust, which owns Dell Field Court Care Home, Finchley, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety Act 1974 after Yuk Kiu Lee fell out of a window in December 2011.
Judge Simon Carr fined the firm £175,000 for the 72-year-old’s “avoidable” death at Wood Green Court Court on September 19.
Months before the conviction, Barnet Council renewed its contract with Fremantle for another ten years - a move which has angered left-wing campaign group Barnet Alliance.
Tirza Waizel, from the group, said: “It is extremly distrubing to realise the life of a fellow resident can be put at risk by those we elected to run our borough, but who fail to do so, costing us so dearly, first in life and quality of life, and then in money too.”
A statement issued by the council said Fremantle has introduced a range of health and safety procedures since Mrs Lee’s death, which were taken into account when renewing the contract.
It added: “Mrs Yuk Kiu Lee’s death was a sad and tragic event and our continued sympathies go out to her family and friends.
“The council expects the highest standards from the care homes used by Barnet residents. An investigation by the environmental health team showed that Fremantle’s safety checks fell below these high standards.
“Fremantle has carried out a thorough review of its safety measures, including daily window checks, and the council is reassured that a number of operational changes have been brought in following Mrs Lee’s tragic death.
“Our duty towards the health and safety of our residents remains paramount and we will continue to carry out regular inspections of our care home providers to make sure they continue to protect our most vulnerable members of society.”
Carole Sawyers, Chief Executive of The Fremantle Trust, said: "We are truly sorry for this tragic loss and for the distress caused to Mrs Lee's family.
"As a charity, our primary concern is the wellbeing of those in our care. As a result of this incident we undertook an immediate review of health and safety across the organisation.
"We have made significant changes to our procedures, including the appointment of independent, external health and safety advisers.”
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