Life expectancy in the UK is increasing and the chances are that many of those reading this will find themselves in a nursing home in later life.
In the UK, the healthcare system has a reputation for generally providing a high standard of care and, as part of this, care and nursing homes provide an invaluable service for vulnerable and elderly individuals across the country.
However due to dwindling care home resources, it’s more important than ever that middle-aged people feel that they can feel reassured that placing their elderly parents into a nursing home is the best option. All nursing home staff are expected to write a good level of care and to provide medical assistance at all times when it’s required. Sometimes however, mistakes can be made.
Specialist care and attention is often required by elderly patients as they often suffer with health problems and diseases which don’t affect younger patients. This can be challenging for healthcare workers and doctors, who have to ensure that their particular group of needs are being met. It can be difficult to recognise these different diseases too, so a more holistic approach is sometimes required to ensure these patients are treated appropriately.
Reasons for compensation claims against care homes
Although it is a fairly broad term, within a nursing home, negligence may include neglect and abuse, delays in medication or hospital referrals, medication errors such as incorrect drug, dose or patient, or inadequate patient supervision and assistance.
Nursing home negligence and neglect – what can you do?
Elderly people are especially vulnerable and defenceless within a nursing home. If your loved one or elderly relative has received substandard medical care while in a nursing home, it can cause great upset and distress to you and your family- but they could be entitled to claim medical negligence compensation.
The NHS have developed guidelines which can help you to spot the signs of medical negligence and this includes the appearance of any physical injuries such as cuts or grazes, bruises or signs of physical restraint. If the patient appears in distress or shows a sudden change in their character, dramatic weight loss, bed sores or personal hygiene issues, then all of these are signs that a person is receiving inadequate care.
If you believe that your elderly relative has received substandard care, a medical negligence solicitor can help. They can provide you with impartial advice and assess your claim to let you know how much you could earn in compensation.
Nursing home negligence – Proving medical negligence
To succesfully claim medical negligence compensation against a home you will need to prove that;
- the home responsible owed a duty of care towards the patient and
- they failed to maintain the required standard of care, leading to patient suffering.
It is therefore important to keep a record of any incidents which may indicate negligence has taken place, including any indicators or appearance of symptoms such as those mentioned above.
Nursing home neglect – beware time limits
There are also time limits involved with making a medical negligence claim, so it is advisable to speak to a solicitor and start the claims process as soon as you are aware of any negligent care. The majority of medical negligence claims should be made within three years of becoming aware of that negligence.
Nursing home neglect – the compensation available
A claim for medical negligence from a nursing or care home will provide compensation for physical or psychological injury caused, loss of earnings, rehabilitation costs and other expenses, including private medical expenditure.
Although compensation will not always be able to fully make up for the suffering of the patient or those who witnessed it, it may go a long way to help provide support and care for the future.
If you find yourself in a situation where a relative has suffered from negligent care it is always advisable to seek the guidance of a solicitor to help you understand the next steps you need to make in moving forward with resolving the situation.
How our solicitors can help
o Initial phone advice and your first appointment our free.
o No win no fee agreements are available – so you don’t need to worry about paying your legal costs.
o Home and hospital visits are also available for those who find it difficult to travel
Claiming compensation – first steps
Medical negligence claims can be complex and may take a long time to reach conclusion. If you think that a relative has suffered as a result of negligent care at their nursing or care home, it is important to seek legal advice in the form of a specialist medical negligence solicitor. A medical negligence solicitor will be able to help advise you as to the procedures and next steps you will need to take, as well as any evidence, documentation or expert medical witnesses you will require.
Considering a Nursing home Negligence Claim?
- Call us on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544
- Or use the contact form below