A PENSIONER with a brain tumour died after falling out of an 'unsuitable' old sling that wasn't removed from his house by carers.

Anthony Friend, aged 77, was living with the effects of the tumour and required regular personal care visits at his home in Bromsgrove.

On September 5, an inquest into Mr Friend's death revealed he suffered a "significant" head injury after slipping through a sling while being hoisted from a chair to his bed, striking his head on the frame of the hoist.

Mr Friend was discharged from hospital back home for palliative care. His health declined and he died at home on April 20 this year.

Coroner David Reid said: "The sling being used at the time of the fall had previously been adjudged unsuitable for his care needs, but it was not removed from his property, and no instruction had been given that its use should cease".

The inquest concluded that he died as a result of an accident.

The coroner has now written a 'Prevention of future deaths report' which raises concerns over Mr Friends' care.

The report has been sent to care providers Bluebird Care, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust and Divine Health Care.

The inquest heard that Bromsgrove's Bluebird Care provided care at home for Mr Friend up to April 16, 2023, two days before the accident that led to Mr Friend's death.

During the inquest, Mr Reid heard that the reason Bluebird Care stopped providing care for Mr Friend was that they had concerns about the sling.

He said at no time did Bluebird Care try to make contact with, or provide any sort of handover to Divine Health Services about Mr. Friend’s needs, or about any concerns they had concerning the sling. He added that Divine Health Services did not make efforts to identify, contact or seek a handover about Mr Friend.

It was also heard that nearly five months before the accident, an occupational therapist employed by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust (HWHCT), had concluded the “old toileting sling,” was no longer suitable and ensured that two more suitable slings were provided instead, but did not remove the old sling.

Coroner Reid added: "During the course of the inquest the evidence revealed matters giving rise to concern.

"In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken".

The care providers must respond to the report with details of action taken by November 13.

A spokesperson for Bluebird Care Bromsgrove said: “We were very saddened to learn of the death of our former customer Mr Friend, and our sympathies are with his family and loved ones.

"We had shared a full and detailed handover with our Continuing Healthcare (CHC) partners when they commissioned a new provider, who was unknown to us. This is in line with standard practice across the sector, and we will be clarifying this point to the Coroner in our response due later in the year".

Sylvester Mandisodza, director of Divine Health Services, said: "My colleagues and I at Divine Health Services are devastated and terribly sorry about the accident that resulted in the unfortunate death of Mr Anthony Friend.

"This accident would not have occurred had we been provided information about the sling that had been used in his house for his needs. This was a systemic failure not of our making, but this tragic situation has taught us a lot.

"Since the tragic accident, we at Divine Health Services have put in place measures and systems to prevent and mitigate against any such incidences happening again".

 A spokesperson for HWHCT added: "We anticipate our response will be published in the public domain in due course".