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Wheelchair Accident leads to Investigation

Published on September 11th, 2010

The Middletown Press in Connecticut reported that the Genesis Healthcare owned nursing home Bishops Corner Skilled & Nursing Rehabilitation where a patient with dementia rolled down a hill and died last week has a “below average” rating, according to information on Medicare.gov.  Both the state and the West Hartford Police Department are investigating the death of Percy Sumner, an 88-year-old patient who rolled down an embankment in front of the Bishops Corner nursing home.  According to http://www.medicare.gov, a one out of five star rating was given to the facility by health inspectors, or “much below average,” with a one rating being the worst score possible.

Overall, the Bishops Corner home has a two out of five rating, according to the site. Both the nursing staff and “quality measures,” information that is self-reported by nursing staff, received a four out of five star rating. An investigation conducted about four months ago said the Bishops Corner facility failed to ensure its facility is accident-free. The home scored a three out of four, with four being the highest level of harm, but the problem had been corrected by June 25, according to the report. The three rating means a patient actually was harmed by a problem indentified by inspectors, the website said.

West Hartford police said Sumner rolled 44 feet down a hill, through a picket fence and over a 3-foot wall before hitting his head on the concrete. Sumner was transported to St. Francis Hospital and later died from the head injury.

Earlier in the morning, the nursing home was placed on notice that Sumner was trying to leave the facility as he was seen trying to exit through the front door of the 130-bed facility.  He was brought back to his unit and put on a 15-minute check by staff.  Some time later, Sumner exited the building by himself, sounding the alarm.  None of the staff seem to have responsed and the incident occurred. When nurses saw what happened, they immediately called 911.

Joe Pioletti
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