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Probe into man's death at Shrewsbury adult day care centre

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

An investigation is taking place into the death of a man following an incident at a council-run adult day centre in Shrewsbury.

Michael Breeze, 53, died in hospital in September last year after choking while at Hartley's Day Centre in Monkmoor.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) confirmed today they are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the death.

Officials at Shropshire Council said they had carried out a "thorough internal investigation" in the wake of the death of Mr Breeze who lived in Kempsfield Residential Home in Shrewsbury, which caters for adults with learning disabilities.

Chris Kirk, a spokesman for the HSE, said: "A HSE investigation is ongoing concerning the death of Michael Breeze.

"Mr Breeze was a resident at Kempsfield but he was attending Hartley's Day Centre in Shrewsbury when the incident occurred, and he was pronounced dead in hospital."

Stephen Chandler, director of adult services with Shropshire Council, said: "We were very saddened by the tragic accidental death of Michael Breeze at Hartley's Day Centre in September 2012, and it was an extremely sad and difficult time for everyone.

"A thorough internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding Michael's death was carried out by the council and the findings were reported to the coroner and to the Health and Safety Executive.

"All of the actions identified in our internal investigation have been implemented, and we have worked closely with the HSE to support their investigation.

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"It's important to stress that ensuring the safety of vulnerable people is our utmost priority, and safeguards are put in place to protect each individual."

The investigation into Mr Breeze's death has come to light through Shropshire Council's annual health and safety report. He was given first aid at the day centre during a choking incident at lunchtime and taken to hospital, where he died.

The report for 2012/13 said an inquest held earlier this year had recorded the incident as "an accidental death brought about by choking".

The verdict said: "We do not consider that had a different risk assessment been made, that a reasonably close supervision would have been provided. Therefore it is only possible not probable that Michael's death would have been prevented."

No formal recommendations were made in the coroner's report to the council, due to its existing "robust" action plan.

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