Burns death probe at Lancashire care home

Alston View Care Home,. Longridge
Alston View Care Home,. Longridge

An inquiry is under way after a care home resident died after setting himself on fire with a cigarette.

John Alastair Fallon, 69, was smoking outside Alston View Care Home, in Longridge, where he was a resident, when his coat caught fire.

This was a tragic event and our sympathies are with this gentleman’s family

He suffered serious burns and was immediately rushed to Wythenshawe Hospital before dying of his injuries two days later.

Now Debbie Westhead, deputy chief inspector for adult social care at the Care Quality Commission, which previously criticised the care home, says an investigation into the incident has been launched.

She said: “We are currently working with our partner agencies, including Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, in order to establish the full facts. In the meantime we will continue to monitor the service to ensure people receive safe and appropriate care.”

The incident happened at around 7am on December 27. Mr Fallon died two days later in hospital.

Lancashire Police said the incident was a “tragic accident” and that it was not being treated as suspicious.

Lancashire Fire Service was also informed but was not required to attend, a spokesman said.

A CQC report in November rated the Alston View Care Home, which is run by MPS care, as ‘inadequate’ and the service was put into ‘special measures’.

Inspectors at the time also raised concerns that not all staff at the service had received appropriate fire safety training and incidents and accidents were not properly monitored. The service is currently under review by the CQC.

The Health and Safety Executive says the incident was reported to them under Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013, but no investigation is taking place with the incident passed into the care of the CQC.

A Lancashire County Council spokesman said: “This was a tragic event and our sympathies are with this gentleman’s family. Our primary concern is the safety and welfare of all of the county’s elderly and vulnerable residents and we’re working with the police, CQC, fire service and other agencies as part of an ongoing and thorough investigation.”

The home and MPS Care were contacted by the LEP but did not provide a comment on the incident.