A nursing home sometimes referred to as care homes or as residential nursing homes have qualified nursing and caregivers who provide care to residents. They provide care and support for people who are vulnerable, have disabilities and unable to carry our basic daily tasks unaided. Residents of a nursing home have access to round the clock personal and medical care from skilled medical personnel.
Persons with medical needs such as severe physical disabilities, learning disabilities, sensory impairment, dementia or terminal illnesses are some categories of people who require the care of nursing facilities.
When you make the decision to move to a nursing home or take a loved one to a nursing home, you expect the best form of care and any deviation from acceptable care can cause harm or further health complications.
When this happens, you may be able to make nursing home negligence claims and get a deserved compensation.
What Does Neglect Mean?
Neglect as it applies to nursing or care homes means a failure (which may be intentional or not) to provide the right standard of care and services to a resident according to his or her needs and to ensure that such a person is free from harm or pain. Neglect can also include a failure to act upon complaints and react to potentially dangerous situations that puts the resident’s safety in jeopardy.
Abuse Vs Neglect
Abuse in nursing homes refers to when the caregivers or nurses harm the residents or put them at risk of harm. Abuse here can come in various forms such as physical, emotional or sexual. It may be a one-time act or a be as a result of several series of ongoing acts from the caregiver.
Neglect on the other hand is a bit different from abuse as it typically refers to lack or action or reaction from a caregiver. It is the failure to provide care or react to potentially harmful conditions. This could be failure to provide food for the residents, change beddings, keep harmful objects away from them or monitor their movements to avoid wandering away.
Assisted Living Center Definition
An assisted living center may be defined as a housing facility made primarily for persons with disabilities or for vulnerable adults who either cannot live independently or choose to live depending on others for daily care.
Assisted Living Definition Vs Nursing Home
In a nursing home, there is provision for not just personal care but also medical care. While an assisted living facility provides only personal care like in a home-like setting.
Assisted living tends to maximize the quality of life since it provides extensive recreational activities, private or shared apartments and extensive common living space. The average number of residents is about 50 although residents can range from 5 to 300. Assisted living facilities are suitable for people who can walk or ambulatory, receptive to assistance and even people with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
On the other hand, nursing homes provide assistance with daily activities and some medical treatment or management. They however offer limited recreational activities, private or shared rooms as well as other common areas. Although the number of residents may be few, the average number of residents is 100. It is a suitable place for people who cannot move around on their own, people who require daily care and are resistant to assistance.
Neglect In Care Homes UK
Care homes are supposed to be a safe haven for its residents and should provide top notch services and care to their patients. Most care homes under the supervision of the NHS provide quality care for their residents better than privately owned care homes.
However, nursing negligence cases and nursing home abuse have been reported and statistics from the Department of Health shows that about 200,000 alleged elderly abuse cases are received every year. 112,000 of this number are from England alone while the rest of the UK accounts for the other 88,000 cases.
If you or your loved one has suffered abuse, neglect or any form of negligence it can result in unnecessary pain, injury, trauma or other complications. In such cases, you can make claims and be entitled to care home neglect compensation.
Why Might Neglect Occur In A Care Environment?
Neglect can occur in a care environment majorly for the following underlisted reasons;
- Unprofessionalism on the part of the nurses or caregivers
- Poor Infrastructure in the care home facility
- Lack of adequate training of staff and caregivers
- Not having enough staff leading to caregivers being under pressure due to overworking
- Inadequate Care Home facility policies for the safety of the residents
Care home neglect can therefore occur when a care home does not make every effort to guard against these pitfalls. Where these problems are seen, the residents are at risk of suffering unnecessary injuries, life-altering conditions, severe impact on life expectancy and even death.
Examples Of Neglect In Care Homes
The following can be examples of neglect which when they happen can be said to be a breach of duty of care in aged care. Care of the old folks’ home must be taken seriously as these residents are already vulnerable and so should not be exposed to anything that puts their safety and wellbeing at risk.
Therefore, our care home negligence compensation claims solicitors are here to assist you make and prove your claims if you have suffered any of the following types of neglect;
- Failing to supervise and monitor movement and activities of residents resulting in cases where residents have wandered off or harm themselves
- Errors while administering medications to residents
- Failing to keep away harmful objects from residents
- Handling errors such as using too much force to retrain a resident
- Failing to inform the resident’s family of any decline in the health of their loved one and making appropriate arranges for the resident to be seen by a specialist
- Neglecting to make available appropriate mobility aids for residents with disabilities
- Improper handling of dementia patients
- Failure to treat bedsores
- Development of pressure sores which arises when a resident is left unattended to in one position
- Failing to replace soiled clothes and beddings of residents
- Ignoring residents’ complaints
Signs Of Nursing Home Negligence
There are signs you can look out for when you visit your loved one in a nursing home which may indicate nursing home abuse or proved that the resident may be a neglected person. These include;
- Development of Bed sores And Pressure Sores due to lack of mobility (leaving the resident in one position for a long time)
- Unexplained injuries
- Resident looking dehydrated or malnourished
- Poor personal hygiene (resident looking unkempt)
- Poor living conditions
- Patient having psychological issues such as unexplained fear, anxiety, resentfulness, depression or desire to be left alone
Proving Nursing Home Negligence
When you or your loved one has suffered from care home neglect or abuse, it is now in your hands to prove your claims and get justice for the wrong done to you. Making nursing home negligence claims requires that you meet expert medical negligence solicitors in nursing negligence cases to make your claims.
Be it an NHS claim where you are suing the NHS for care home negligence or a claim against a privately-owned care home facility, your best bet towards a successful claim rests majorly on the expertise of your lawyer to prove your claim.
Two very important issues that must be established for a claim to be successful are Liability and Causation.
Here is what we mean;
By Liability, you show that the caregiver or nurse owed you a duty of care. This can only be when there is a form of relationship between you two. By virtue of being under the care of the nursing home, such a relationship has been established. Also, you have to establish that the caregiver was negligent and breached that duty of care to you.
By Causation, you establish a direct link between the negligent act of the caregiver and the harm or injury suffered. It is very important that this part is established as a compensation claim cannot be successfully proven if causation is not established. You need to show how much damage and pain you have suffered both physically, psychologically, financially and otherwise as a direct result of your caregiver’s negligence.
This is why you need us to give you a professional legal representation as we have multiple decade years’ worth of experience and have secured deserving settlement payouts for clients over the years
Documents such as;
- Your own comprehensive report of events that transpired
- Medical reports if any
- Photographs or images showing severity of injuries
- Witness statements
- Contract of agreement with the nursing home management to care for you or your loved one, will be needed to help prove your nursing home negligence claims.
We can also help you access and make these documents available should you require our help. After gathering the evidence we need, we will proceed to write a letter of claim to the nursing home authorities and do our very best to prove that they failed in their duty.
After successful negotiations, we will agree to a favorable compensation fee for you.
How Much Compensation Can I Get For My Care Home Negligence Claim?
Your compensation amount is not fixed but is dependent on several factors. The average compensation amount for care home negligence in the UK according to the NHS Resolution is about £280,000 which is much higher than the general average compensation amount for medical negligence claims (about £50,000).
Factors that affect what you will get as compensation include;
- Type of injury suffer
- Severity of the injury
- Estimated time for recovery (future prognosis)
- Pain and suffering including psychological trauma
- Financial losses (past, present and future estimated costs)
- Costs for medical treatment and therapies
- Costs of rehabilitation and purchasing of aids and assistive devices
However, our solicitors are able to give you an idea of what you can get as compensation using our medical negligence claims calculator.
We offer a No Win No Fee service, you can make your nursing home negligence claims without any financial implications to you. You do not have to worry about making any upfront legal fees. You also do not owe us a penny should the case be unsuccessful.
After a successful case however, we will deduct a “success fee” which will be 25% of your total compensation award.
Your caregivers and nurses in a nursing home facility like every other healthcare provider owe you a duty of care and should make every effort not to breach that responsibility of care to you.
We encourage you not to hesitate to make your claims as you have only a limited time of three years from the date of negligence to make your claims and we advise you to reach out to us early enough so that we can have ample time to prepare a strong legal case for you.
You can reach out to us today by calling our numbers 0800 644 4240 or fill our online Free Assessment Form for a free claims’ assessment.