Elderly Care Claims
Hospital, Nursing and Care Home Negligence Claims
As a firm that specialises in clinical negligence cases, we have noticed that the number of injuries and deaths of people in nursing and care homes continues to rise each year. This is something that has been highlighted by Age Concern and the media.
If anyone has a family member, friend or neighbour who has suffered poor care whilst in hospital, a nursing or care home, they should be encouraged to take legal advice. They are entitled to be compensated for injuries which are avoidable.
Types of Elderly Care Claims
Some of the nursing or care home claims that can be made for negligence on behalf of people in these circumstances are:
Assaults and unnecessary restraint
For example, patients who are restrained in bed against their wishes.
There is often no defence for a patient or resident developing a pressure sore unless they could not be moved at all for medical reasons, which is very unusual. Pressure sores normally arise due to elderly patients or residents not being moved regularly and being left in their own wet beds or clothes.
Over-prescription of antipsychotics
Most people with dementia experience behavioural and psychological symptoms, such as restlessness and shouting. Many of these symptoms can be prevented or managed without medication, but patients or residents are often given antipsychotics as a first resort, without the staff identifying if other treatment is more appropriate.
Malnutrition and dehydration
There is no defence for either malnutrition or dehydration in. We acknowledge that feeding weak and confused elderly patients is time-consuming for care homes but, too often, food is laid out and then collected without being eaten. Their food intake is not properly monitored and these patients or residents soon lose weight and this can worsen their ongoing health problems.
Older patients are more vulnerable to falling due to a number of risk factors, including impaired mobility, dementia, medication and the effects of their underlying medical illness. Often the underlying risk factors can be reduced with implementing and following-through on proper risk assessments. Falls can lead to very serious injuries or cause the death of older patients.
Hospital or care home acquired infections (for example, MRSA or pneumonia)
The mere fact of contracting one of these infections is not evidence of negligence, but, in our experience, they can be caused by a breach of Infection Control policies, etc. which, once again, can trigger a downward spiral in an older person’s health.
Claiming Compensation for Negligent Care
Despite the prevalence of elderly abuse, many victims (who are often vulnerable and disabled) do not seek legal advice and as such, do not receive compensation for their injuries.
We believe that where a claim has merit it should be brought. Often the hospital or care home provider will have no defence to the allegations of negligence and from experience, we know that these cases can help encourage changes to working practices and so help protect others from future harm.
In addition to claiming compensation for pain and suffering caused by the negligence, we aim to help our clients claim sufficient compensation for increased care costs that have arisen as a consequence of the care homes negligence.
If you would like to discuss a potential claim against a care home, nursing home or hospital, please get in touch.
How will we investigate your claim?
The main evidence you’ll require to make a nursing or care home claim for negligence will come from independent medical experts. These are doctors or other health care experts who can give an expert opinion on your specific case. They will give their opinion on:
- your medical records;
- your statement about what has happened;
- any other documents supporting your case.
If we cannot find any medical experts prepared to support your claim, your claim will likely not succeed.
Our main offfice is in Swindon, with interviewing offices in Cheltenham, Oxford and Bristol. We can also make home visits or visit in hospital, a nursing or care home to discuss your claim.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss bringing a case for negligence or abuse of an elderly person. One of our highly qualified and experienced solicitors may be able to represent you on a no win no fee basis. Our head office is in Swindon with interviewing offices also in Cheltenham, Oxford and Bristol.