Nursing homes are often where the most vulnerable members of society are cared for. Many residents of nursing homes are elderly or frail, but nursing homes also look after vulnerable adults with dementia, learning difficulties or physical disabilities. All of these people are to some extent relying on other people working to an appropriate standard for their daily care needs.
Regulation of nursing homes
All nursing homes are regulated to maintain high standards of care. In order to get government or local funding, they must adhere to many different laws and regulations. If these regulations are used as the building blocks for best practice, residents often enjoy a very high quality of life. In a very small number of nursing homes however, the regulations are not followed and this can lead to mistakes and poor practice. Unacceptable abuse and neglect can occur, and this has a serious effect on the wellbeing of the residents. Making a claim for compensation against a nursing home which has allowed neglect to happen can go a little way to helping to restore the resident’s confidence in the healthcare system and dignity.
Making a nursing home negligence claim
We have personal injury solicitors who are experts in cases involving compensation claims against nursing homes. They have both knowledge and experience about this very complicated area of the law, and can make sure that any claims are thoroughly researched and managed in a way that maximises the chances of a successful conclusion. There are several areas of negligence on which a successful claim can be based. The first thing a solicitor will do is to look at the care plan for the resident concerned and see whether it was adhered to and whether the care met minimum standards. If not, this is clear evidence that neglect has indeed taken place.
Proving your nursing home compensation claim
Establishing whether the minimum levels of care were provided means taking several factors into account, and the solicitor will look at a range of issues. The main thing to consider is whether there were enough staff working in the home at all times. Not having enough staff to look after residents who require a lot of care properly can have extremely serious, or even fatal, consequences as residents can be left without food, dehydrated, soiled or can lead to them being given the wrong dose of their medication.
It could also be the case that a nursing home has not properly assessed the care needs of the individual resident or has not taken their needs into account when writing the care plan. Given that the care plan is the key document which all staff should refer to, any mistakes or omissions could have serious consequences for the wellbeing of the resident concerned.
There is a contract between residents and nursing homes to make sure that there minimum standards regarding the safety of the environment, sufficient help with day to day activities, provision of qualified nursing staff and standards of medical care. Not adhering to these standards is more evidence that the nursing home is negligence, and in breach of their contract.
Types of nursing home neglect
Often when dealing with a claim for neglect in nursing homes a solicitor will try to categorise the neglect which has occurred into either Errors of Commission, or Errors of Omission.
Errors of Comission covers deliberate acts of neglect such as:
• Giving wrong medication
• Mental, sexual or physical abuse of residents
• Incorrect handling of patients
Errors of Omission covers more passive neglect issues such as:
• Not assessing the patient or creating a care plan
• Not doing routine risk assessments
• Failure to give a patient enough food or drink
• Not following health and safety policies
• Poor infection control and hygiene practices
• Failing to prevent bed or pressure sores
Nursing home neglect – the very real consequences
The results of Errors of Commission or Omission are often devastating for the residents of any nursing home. Consequences can include fractures, pressure sores, problems with incorrect medication being given, head injuries, blood clots on the lungs, or even death. In many cases involving vulnerable adults the nursing home can also be charged with neglect if they fail to protect residents from isolation, being physically or mentally abused, subject to financial abuse or abandonment.
Every case of neglect involving a nursing home is different. Neglect is usually avoidable and when handled by an experienced solicitor, a claim for compensation can usually be made. There is no need for neglect of the most vulnerable members of society should go unchallenged, and remember that every successful claim for neglect should lessen the possibility of it happening to someone else in the future.
Considering a Medical Negligence Claim? Call us today
Please be aware that strict time limitation periods apply to all medical compensation claims. So don’t delay getting in touch with a solicitor specialising in medical negligence cases – or you risk losing the compensation to which you are entitled.
For FREE phone advice and a free first interview with expert Medical Negligence Solicitors you can trust, simply
- Phone one of our medical claims team on SALISBURY(01722) 4223000 or ANDOVER (01264) 364433 OR
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