Neglect in Nursing Homes

We trust staff working in nursing homes to look after some of the most vulnerable people in society. These people might be elderly or frail, or they may be vulnerable adults with dementia or physical disabilities. The well being of all of them is dependent to some extent on the employees of their care home performing their agreed duties to a high enough standard.

There are many different regulations concerning care standards, evaluating residents’ needs and treatment which have been put in place to ensure that high standards of personal and medical care are maintained across the UK. If a nursing home uses the minimum standards as a starting point for their care, high standards result and the residents enjoy a good quality of life. However, when in a very small number of nursing homes the regulations are not followed, mistakes and poor practice can lead to neglect or abuse. This has a serious effect on both the physical and mental well being of the residents involved. Making a successful claim against the nursing home concerned for neglect can help in part to restore a resident’s dignity and their confidence in the nursing home system.

Our solicitors are specialists in personal injury cases which involve neglect in nursing homes, and have the extensive legal knowledge needed to bring a successful case using this complicated area of the law. They can research, present and manage a case to maximise chances of success for the claimant. Our solicitors will first look at the care plan for the individual concerned and see whether or not it has been adhered to. If minimum care levels have not been provided, there is a clear case for neglect.

The solicitor will have to look at many different factors which will determine whether the minimum levels of care were provided. One of the main factors to be considered is whether there were enough staff members working in the nursing home. Not having enough staff to look after the residents has in the past been responsible for in some cases killing residents by leaving them without enough to eat and drink, soiled, or without the medication which they have been prescribed. Nursing homes may also be found to have failed to complete an assessment of a resident’s needs, or put these into their care plan. As all medical and care staff work from the care document, anything which is missed out can have a very serious effect on a resident’s wellbeing.

Nursing homes have a contractual obligation to their residents to make sure that they are meeting minimum standards of providing a safe environment, giving enough help with daily routines, providing enough trained nursing staff and competent medical care. Not maintaining these standards is clear proof of neglect as well as a breach of contract.

There are two main categories of neglect which solicitors look at when classifying the sort of neglect which has occurred. These are:

  •  Errors of Commission
  • Errors of Omission

Errors of commission are deliberate acts and contraventions of best practice standards and can include such events as mental, physical or sexual abuse of residents, getting medication wrong, withdrawing treatment completely, or moving and handling residents in the wrong way.

Errors of Omission are not deliberate acts, but cover neglect by failing to do something key such as not giving a resident enough to eat or drink, not assessing a patient properly or writing up a proper care plan, putting the resident at risk by not following risk assessment procedures, failure to prevent pressure sores, not following basic health and safety laws, poor hygiene practices and lapses in infection control procedure.

The results of either of these types of errors can be extremely serious for the residents in a nursing home. Some of the results can be pressure sores, blood clots on the lungs, fractures, head injuries, illness caused by incorrect medication, pneumonia, or even death. Cases can also be brought against homes looking after vulnerable adults if they have not prevented the residents from being subject to neglect, abuse, abandonment or financial exploitation.

Every instance of neglect in nursing homes is different. The circumstances from which neglect arises are more often than not completely avoidable and a good solicitor should be able to put forward a solid claim for compensation. There really is no excuse for allowing the abuse or neglect of the vulnerable to go unchecked, and every successful claim which is made will reduce the chances of the same things happening to another vulnerable person in the future.

Think you or someone you know deserves compensation for Neglect in Nursing Homes? Call Us Now

If you have a case of nursing home neglect, contact us now – for FREE initial telephone advice and a FREE first appointment from our accredited medical negligence experts;

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