Idea Services fined $552,000 over womans death at Taranaki support home

An intellectual disabilities service provider has been ordered to pay $552,622 over the death of a patient in a Waitara support home.

The 63-year-old woman, whose name is now permanently suppressed, drowned when left alone in a bath in October 2016.

Idea Services, an arm of IHC, had initially denied the charge of failing its health and safety duties exposing her to risk of death and serious injury, but pleaded guilty a week into a hearing in the New Plymouth District Court late last year.

Judge Jim Large today fined Idea Services $425,000 and awarded costs of more than$52,622 to the prosecutor, WorkSafe New Zealand.

He suppressed all details of the woman’s family and their victim impact statements at their request, awarding them $75,000 in reparations.

Judge Large said Idea Services failed to implement a care plan, didn’t assess the level of support needed for the victim to use a bath, and information carers needed was not available to them.

He said the carers had no guidance on how to balance the victim’s right to privacy against their duty to ensure her safety.

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