Medical Negligence Claims Against Care Homes
It can be hard to choose a care home for a loved one. You will probably spend a lot of time looking for the home that will give them the best quality of life. Ultimately, you will need to put your faith in the fact that the care home management and staff will provide a high standard of care. While that is usually the case, care home residents do occasionally suffer because of mistakes made by staff. Therefore, in this article, we are going to look at the effects of care home medical negligence.
It will be horrible to hear about your loved one suffering in any way. If that suffering is caused by medical negligence, it will probably make you feel even worse. In some cases, you may even want to look at claiming compensation for their suffering.
Claims might be possible if suffering is caused by staff or management failing to follow the correct medical procedures. For example, you might be able to claim if a lack of infection controls led to your loved one contracting COVID-19. As we progress, we will look at the different reasons why you could claim. Additionally, we will explain how much compensation might be payable.
If you decide that you would like to claim, our team can help. We supply free legal advice and will review your claim without obligation. If there’s a reasonable chance of winning your claim, we could connect you to a medical negligence solicitor from our panel. To make the claims process easier, their work will be carried out on a No Win No Fee basis if your claim is accepted.
To speak to us about claiming today, please call 0800 408 7827. For more information about making a care home negligence claim before calling, please continue reading.
Jump To A Section
- Our Guide To Care Home Medical Negligence Claims
- What Is Care Home Negligence?
- Care Home Medical Negligence Compensation Calculator
- Could I Make A No Win No Fee Claim For Medical Negligence At A Care Home?
- Rates Of Negligence In Care Homes
- What Are Common Signs Of Care Home Medical Negligence?
- Negligence Leading To Care Home Acquired Infections
- Negligence In Not Meeting Primary Medical Care Needs
- Wrongful Deaths In Care Homes Caused By Medical Negligence
- FAQs On Medical Negligence In Care Homes
- Requesting A Call Back
- Need More Help And Services?
If you or a loved one need to stay in a care home, you can expect to be:
- Told what’s happening and be involved in your care.
- Provided with support, care and treatment that matches your needs.
- Safe at all times.
- Cared for by properly trained staff.
If you require medication or treatment during your care, you can also expect it to be provided correctly and safely. While that is the case, generally, mistakes can happen. While it is possible to complain formally about suffering in a care home caused by medical negligence, that won’t mean you’ll be compensated. Instead, you will need to make your own medical negligence claim to seek damages.
In this article, we’ll try to explain what medical negligence is, the harm it can result in and why you could be entitled to claim compensation. We’ll also provide some example compensation amounts that could be paid for injuries caused by negligence. At the end of the guide, we will provide answers to some commonly asked questions about negligence claims too.
While it is possible to sue for other types of injuries caused by care home staff, this guide is specifically about injuries or illnesses caused by medical negligence. We will therefore provide information about wrongful deaths, care home acquired infections and where primary medical care needs are not met.
Please call us today if you would like to know more about your rights to begin a claim. Our specialists will consider your case during a no-obligation telephone consultation. You will receive free claims advice and we could connect you with a medical negligence lawyer from our panel if it is strong enough.
Medical professionals have a duty of care, legally, to try and keep patients as safe as possible and to provide treatment of the standard expected of them. If they are negligent and cause avoidable injuries, you might be able to claim against them. To make a successful claim, you will need evidence that shows:
- The person treating you owed you a duty of care.
- They breached that duty of care in the way they treated you.
- As a result, you were made ill or suffered an injury.
Negligence could take the form of not following the correct procedures or failing to use the right equipment. Importantly, you will need to show that the injuries you were claiming for were caused by the negligent act and nothing else like an underlying condition.
As legal professionals aren’t medical experts, they cannot decide whether a doctor was negligent or not. Instead, the defendant’s actions will be assessed by a panel of peers. If they decide that, in the same situation, they wouldn’t have acted the same as the defendant, you could be compensated for your suffering. This is known as the Bolam Test.
A successful compensation claim could result in a settlement package consisting of two elements. The first is called general damages. This compensation is used to cover any pain and suffering that results from any illness or injury.
It’s possible to illustrate potential compensation awards for general damages by looking at a document used by legal professionals called the Judicial College Guidelines. Therefore, we have added a compensation calculator table to show some general damages figures.
|Type of Injury||Severity||Settlement Range||Additional Comments|
|Non-traumatic Injury||Serious||£8,950 to £18,020||Symptoms will be serious but short-lived and last for up to four weeks. They could include vomiting or diarrhoea. Following recovery, disturbance to bowel function might continue for a couple of years.|
|Kidney||Serious||Up to £60,050||Covers either the total loss of kidney function or where there's a serious risk of future urinary tract infections.|
|Bowels||Up to £140,870||Where colostomy is relied on because of a total loss of natural function. The age of the claimant is a factor used to determine the settlement figure.|
|Bladder||Serious||£60,050 to £75,010||Where there is serious impairment, pain and incontinence.|
|Spleen||Loss||£19,510 to £24,680||Where the loss of the spleen leads to a continuing risk of infections because of the damaged immune system.|
|Death||£11,770 to £22,350||For deaths where the victim is fully aware for a short period and then there are fluctuating levels of consciousness before death lasting for 4 to 5-weeks.|
An important factor used to set compensation levels is the severity of any injuries. Therefore, an independent specialist will need to carry out a medical assessment. During the appointment, they will question the claimant, examine them and refer to medical records. After they’ve completed their assessment, they will provide a prognosis in a medical report. This will also be used to prove that the injuries were caused by the act of negligence.
As well as claiming for your injuries, it’s possible to claim for special damages too. This is compensation that covers any costs or losses sustained as a result of your injuries. They can include travel costs, care costs, medical expenses, lost income or benefits and home adaptations.
Every medical negligence claim is unique. Therefore, the figures listed should be considered as guidance only at this point. If your claim is accepted by a medical negligence lawyer from our panel, they will be able to offer a more personalised compensation estimate after reviewing your case.
Please get in touch today if you would like a specialist to review your claim with you. We provide free legal advice whether you decide to proceed or not.
We know that making a medical negligence claim against a care home can be stressful. That is especially true when you think about financing the support of a medical negligence lawyer. For that reason, we work with a panel of lawyers who provide No Win No Fee services for claims they take on. That means you can still pursue justice for yourself or a loved one, but your financial risks will be reduced. In turn, you’ll find the process a little less stressful.
Not all cases are suitable for No Win No Fee claims. Therefore, the lawyer will need to verify the viability of your case before proceeding. If they decide to continue to work for you, a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) will be drawn up—the formal title of a No Win No Fee agreement. This will show you what needs to happen if the lawyer is to be paid. It also explains that:
- You won’t need to pay any upfront legal fees. This allows your claim to begin quickly.
- There won’t be any lawyer’s fees billed to you while your claim is being worked on.
- The lawyer’s fees won’t apply if the claim does not succeed.
The only time you will be asked to pay lawyer’s fees is if the claim is won. If that does happen, a percentage of your compensation (a success fee) will be deducted by your lawyer. You will know about the size of the success fee before you agree to work with the lawyer as it is listed in the CFA. Legally, they are capped to prevent overcharging.
Claiming On Somebody Else’s Behalf
If you are claiming on behalf of a loved one, your lawyer will help you to apply under the litigation friend scheme. This allows people to claim on behalf of those without the mental capacity to do so.
To find out if your claim might be suitable for a No Win No Fee service, please get in touch with us today.
In this section, we are going to look at a report relating to abuse and neglect in care homes. It is based on a study involving 1,544 care home staff from 92 care homes. The study found that the most common forms of abuse was where residents with challenging behaviours were avoided (reported by 25% of surveyed staff) and forcing residents to wait for treatment (25%).
Residents not being given enough time for food was another form of neglect reported by respondents (19%). Not taking enough care when moving residents was next on the list (11%). Physical abuse was reported by 1.1% of respondents while verbal abuse had been seen by 5%).
The study’s lead author said that staff were under pressure and not able to offer the levels of care they would like to. The report also suggested that although care homes would like to provide individual care plans, they are often under-resourced, so they are unable to do so.
Charity Alzheimer’s Society responded to the report and confirmed that their helpline had heard reports of residents not receiving the medication they need or not being fed due to insufficient staff training or a lack of staff.
If you believe you, or a loved one, has suffered because of care home negligence, why not get in touch today? We are happy to conduct a telephone consultation where you can explain what’s happened. If there is a reasonable chance of winning your case, we could connect you with a medical negligence solicitor from our panel.
If your loved one doesn’t have the means to explain that they are suffering, you may need to look for signs that something is wrong. These might include:
- Pressure sores (or bed sores) that result from not being moved regularly.
- Malnutrition or dehydration.
- Unexplained accidents. Signs of these might include cuts and bruises.
- Being over, or under, medicated.
In the first instance, you may wish to make a complaint if you have any concerns. Alternatively, you could make an informal enquiry to the care home manager. If you do decide to complain, it should be in writing.
Complaints should be clear and concise. You should keep a record of who has said what. That might be the care home manager, the director or individual members of care home staff.
If you are not happy with the response to your complaint, you should escalate it as far as possible. If that doesn’t result in an outcome you are happy with, you could begin legal action. To back up your allegations, you will need as much evidence as possible. This can include:
- Details of your loved one’s treatment and the injuries you are aware of (photographs could help here).
- Your contract with the care home and other documents such as letters relating to your complaint.
- A record of any costs you incur.
Please call our team today if you would like us to review your case with you. We’ll give free legal advice on the claims process and let you know your options.
Elderly patients are particularly vulnerable to infections. For that reason, hygiene procedures in care homes need to be of the highest standards. That means that regular cleaning should be carried out.
If proper cleaning is not performed regularly, and a patient becomes ill as a result, then they may have the grounds to make a compensation claim. Evidence that could support this type of claim include videos, witness statements, patient statements and even photographs of cleaning checklists.
We can review the evidence you have during a free telephone consultation. We’ll advise you if there’s anything else you need or could connect you to a lawyer from our panel if your case is strong enough.
When a care home accepts a resident, a care plan should be drawn up. This will include any medical requirements. The idea is to understand an individual’s needs rather than treating everybody the same. Once the plan has been drawn up, it is important that the resident receives the treatment they require.
Examples of what could go wrong include:
- Not providing the correct medication.
- Dispensing the wrong dosage of medication.
- Delayed dispensing of medication.
If you believe that you or a loved one has been made ill because their primary medical care needs were not met, why not call our team today?
We can let you know your options after we have reviewed your claim for free. Should there be sufficient grounds to proceed, a medical negligence lawyer from our panel could take it on. Remember, any claim that is accepted will be processed on a No Win No Fee basis.
Care home residents who have medical needs are owed a duty of care by any medical professional who treats them. That means that the correct procedures should be followed during their treatment. From time to time, treatment goes wrong and unfortunately can lead to the death of the patient.
While compensation won’t make you feel any better, it might be possible to make a claim to help with your financial costs. The case will need to be reviewed to see if the death was avoidable had the medical professional done something differently. If the review suggests that was the case, a claim might be possible.
If you would like to talk to us about making a wrongful death claim against a care home, please call today. We understand it will be difficult to discuss so our staff will work at a pace that suits you and act with compassion throughout the call.
When people call to discuss medical negligence in a care home, some common questions are asked. Therefore, we have added a number of them below. If you still have questions about making a claim after reading this article, please get in touch and let us know.
Who could claim for negligence in a care home?
You are able to make a claim if it was you who suffered harm following medical negligence in a care home. Alternatively, a relative could claim on behalf of a care home resident who doesn’t have the mental capacity to represent themselves.
How long do I have to claim for negligence at a care home?
Generally, medical negligence claims have a 3-year time limit that begins on the date injuries were sustained. However, if injuries aren’t diagnosed until later on, the time limit will begin from the date of knowledge. If the injured party doesn’t have the mental capacity to claim, the time limit won’t apply unless they regain the capacity.
What evidence do I need to show negligence in a care home?
Evidence is required in medical negligence claims to prove what happened, how you suffered and who was to blame. This can include photographs, witness statements, your own statement and medical records.
You have almost reached the end of our article on suing a care home for medical negligence. We hope the information we have delivered has helped you understand your options. We are here to help you when you are ready to discuss making a claim. To get in touch you can:
- Call our fully trained advisors on 0800 408 7827 for free legal advice.
- Ask for a call back at a convenient time by completing our online form.
Our friendly team will try to make the process as easy as possible. Initially, they will listen to what happened and consider any evidence you have available. You will get free legal advice on what options are available to you.
If you have strong enough grounds to proceed, we could pass your case to a medical negligence lawyer from our panel. Should they agree to take on your case, they will work for you on a No Win No Fee basis.
Thank you for reading our article about claiming for harm resulting from care home medical negligence. Here are more resources that might be helpful to you when claiming or in the future. Please do let us know whether there is anything else that we can help with.
- Medical negligence law
- Medical negligence compensation
- Hospital-acquired infection compensation claims
- 100% No Win No Fee medical solicitors
- GP and doctor negligence compensation claims
- How to make a medical negligence claim
- NHS negligence compensation
- Medical misdiagnosis compensation claims
- How to calculate hospital negligence payouts
- Maximum payouts for hospital negligence claims in the UK
- Paralysis medical negligence: Your rights explained
- Medical negligence claims for a botched liposuction surgery
- Compensation for unnecessary medical treatment
- Compensation Claims for receiving the wrong treatment
- How to make a stroke misdiagnosis claim
- Prescription error compensation claims
- Can I sue a hospital for negligence
Guide by HB
Edited by BER