Sutton care home found to be negligent after epileptic man dies following seizure

This Is Local London: Tragic: Barry Dodson was found unconscious with his head underwater Tragic: Barry Dodson was found unconscious with his head underwater

A father whose son died from an epileptic fit wants to sue the care home who were looking after him after a coroner found he had been subject to neglect.

Peter Dodson plans to take action against Care Management Group (CMG), after an inquest into his son's death concluded yesterday.

A verdict of 'accidental death to which neglect contributed to', was reached at South London Coroners Court.

Mr Dodson, who suffered from epilepsy and moderate-to-severe learning difficulties, was found unconscious leaning over a bath on December 15 last year.

When a carer found him his head was underwater.

At the first day of his inquest on Wednesday, May 14, the court heard he had a seizure, causing him to fall into the tub and whack his head.

He died at St Helier Hospital on December 18 after spending three days in a coma.

Peter Dodson has blamed his son’s death on negligence, arguing care staff should have been looking after him at the time of the seizure.

Following today’s verdict Mr Dodson said: "I am not happy, I feel like the carers have got away with it.

"They should have been watching him.

"They get to carry on with their lives, while we have to carry on knowing one of our family members died because of their neglect.

"I will speak to my solicitor, and see how I can go about suing them."

This Is Local London:

Avoidable: Peter Dodson and Barry's sister Sarah blame the care home for his death

Barry Dodson  had been been living at Care Management Group's St Helier Avenue service care home in St Helier Avenue for 15 years.

He suffered from regular seizures, meaning the centre had a policy not to leave him alone while he was bathing.

But if he requested privacy they could stand just outside the door.

The court heard that when Mr Dodson had the seizure, one of his carers was down the corridor, while another was waiting outside the bathroom.

Coroner Selena Lynch said: "I am satisfied he suffered a seizure and fell into the bath.

"I am also satisfied no carer was adequately supervising him at the time.

"It was a sustained failure for at least several minutes.

"The case of his death was contributed to by neglect."

The coroner made no recommendations at the hearing.

Mr Dodson’s cause of death was read out as a hypoxic brain injury and epilepsy.

A CMG spokesperson said: ""Our thoughts are with Barry’s family and friends at this very difficult time.  

"Barry was well-loved by all who met and cared for him, and he is greatly missed.

"We continue to take this sad case extremely seriously. We are working closely with all of the relevant authorities, and will consider any appropriate lessons that should be learnt.

"As always, our utmost priority remains the well being of service users."

Mr Dodson grew up in Walton on Thames, where his family still live, before going into care at the age of 20.
 

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