UK Nursing Home Neglect

In the UK, nursing home neglect is considered to be medical negligence as nursing homes have the same duty of care as medical professionals. However, claiming compensation for nursing home neglect is not often straightforward when resolving the issue of liability may depend on the testimony of a nursing home resident against the testimonies of multiple nursing home employees.

In the possible event that the injured party is unable to represent themselves in a compensation claim for nursing home neglect, a member of his or her family must step in and act as their “Litigation Friend”. Furthermore, the standards of care at the nursing home must be investigated by multiple agencies before it can be confirmed that there was a breach in the accepted standard of care provided to the nursing home resident, and that the resident suffered an avoidable injury as a result.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to nursing home neglect, you are advised to speak with a solicitor at the first possible opportunity. After listening to how you believe avoidable injuries were sustained, the solicitor will initiate the relevant investigations – the reports of which will determine whether you have a claim for nursing home neglect compensation which may be worth your while to pursue.

Undisclosed Settlement of Compensation for Burns due to a Lack of Care

A family has received an undisclosed settlement of compensation for burns due to a lack of care after their elderly mother was injured in a bathroom accident.

On 15th February 2012, ninety-year-old Jessie King was visited at her Rotherham home by two carers who came around daily to help Jessie out of bed and to take her to the bathroom for a shower. On this particular day, Jessie fell while preparing for her shower and landed with her back against a radiator.

The two carers contacted a home care services provider – Rothercare – to assist them after Jessie´s fall, but failed to consider that the radiator against which Jessie was leaning was still on. When specialists from Rothercare arrived, Jessie was helped to her feet. She finished her shower while the two carers prepared her breakfast and then left.

It was not until later that day that Jessie´s injury was discovered. Jessie was visited by her daughter Denise and a District Nurse, who arranged for an ambulance to take Jessie to the Northern General Hospital. At the hospital, Jessie was referred to the burns unit, where she had to undergo skin grafts as the burns on her back were so severe.

As Jessie suffers from dementia, a claim for compensation for burns due to a lack of care was made by another of her daughters – Jean – on her behalf. The claim was made against Nestor Primecare Services Ltd trading as Saga Home Care, as it was the company that employed the two carers who had failed to consider that Jessie had fallen against the radiator in the bathroom.

Nestor Primecare Services Ltd denied liability for Jessie´s injuries but, after pressure from Jean´s solicitors, the company agreed to an out-of-court settlement of compensation for burns due to a lack of care. Sadly Jessie passed away in May 2013.

Speaking after the settlement of compensation for burns due to a lack of care, another of Jessie´s daughters said: “The injuries mum suffered were absolutely horrendous and we can’t believe that her carers failed to notice she was lying against a hot radiator and that she had suffered severe burns. We are absolutely shocked that Nestor Primecare Services Ltd has continued to deny liability for the injuries and that they have never apologised for what happened.”

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Nursing Home Ordered to Pay Compensation for the Failure to Act on a Broken Hip

A nursing home, a local council and a GP have each been ordered to pay compensation for the failure to act on a broken hip by the Local Government Ombudsman.

In February 2012, seventy-seven year old Monica O´Donnell fell at the Parkview House Nursing Home in Uxbridge and broke her hip. Staff at the care home failed to call a doctor immediately, and it was only when Monica complained of a pain in her right thigh and being unable to walk that medical help was sought.

However, when Monica´s GP attended her, he was only told of her symptoms and not that care home staff had found her unable to move on the floor. As Monica suffers from Alzheimer´s disease, she was unable to remember that she had fallen, and it was not until thirty-two days after her accident that she was admitted to Hillingdon Hospital where the broken hip was diagnosed.

Monica underwent a hip replacement operation but, because of her frail condition, she died six weeks later. Medical staff at Hillingdon Hospital raised a safeguarding alert, recommending that Hillingdon Council investigate the standard of care provided at the Parkview Nursing Home. However, due to the nursing home doctoring its records, the council´s investigation concluded that the nursing home acted appropriately.

Dissatisfied with this conclusion, Monica´s daughter – Angela Kelly – went to great lengths to find out why her mother´s care had been below standard. Angela approached NHS England, the Quality Care Commission, the council and her MP Sir John Randall before finally finding that the Local Government Ombudsman was willing to investigate her claim of nursing home neglect.

Following their investigation – in which the conflicting nursing home records were uncovered – the Local Government Ombudsman found the Parkview House Nursing Home in breach of its duty of care and ordered it to pay £1,000 compensation for the failure to act on a broken hip. The Ombudsman also found that the council´s investigation into the incident was inadequate and ordered it to pay Angela £500 compensation for the failure to act on a broken hip.

Finally, Monica´s GP – the Oakland Medical Centre in Uxbridge – was ordered to pay £750 compensation for the failure to act on a broken hip after it was found to have kept inadequate records and failing to be suspicious about the circumstance in which Monica acquired her injury. All three parties were also ordered to send Angela a written apology for the substandard care her mother had received at the nursing home.

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Daughter Receives Compensation for a Lack of Care in a Nursing Home

The daughter of a woman, who died shortly after sustaining pressure sores on her legs, has received compensation for a lack of care in a nursing home.

Ninety-eight year old Ivy Jones was moved into the Carshalton Nursing Home in November 2012 due to falling several times in her home in Mitcham, Surrey. Ivy suffered from dry skin on her legs; but, shortly after moving into the nursing home, pressure sores developed on both of her calves which caused Ivy significant distress and a substantial amount of pain when the dressings on her legs were changed.

Visiting relatives complained to staff at the nursing home about the deterioration in Ivy´s condition; however, Ivy´s condition deteriorated further. Eventually Ivy´s family complained to her social worker, who arranged for Ivy to be moved to a different nursing home in January 2013. Tragically Ivy died just one month later in February 2013.

Sutton Council conducted an investigation into the standard of care at the nursing home after receiving complaints from Ivy´s family and found that the “the quality of care fell below the acceptable standard”. The local authority placed an embargo on the nursing home until November 2014, when a new manager was employed and improvements made to how the operation was run.

The council´s investigation also concluded that more should have been done to prevent the development and deterioration of Ivy´s pressure sores and that the nursing home staff could have made a greater effort to obtain medical attention for her.

Subsequently, Ivy´s daughter – Shirley Dell – sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a lack of care in a nursing home. The owners of Carshalton Nursing Home denied liability for Ivy´s injuries, but agreed to an out-of-court settlement of £12,000 without an admission of liability.

Speaking after the settlement of compensation for a lack of care in a nursing home had become public, Shirley was reported in her local press as saying: “I just wanted some form of justice for my mum. When they changed her dressings she used to scream in agony. It wasn’t right for her to suffer like she did.”

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Nursing Home Scald Injury due to Medical Negligence Results in £5,000 Fine

Flintshire Magistrates have fined a company £5,000 for a nursing home scalding injury which resulted in the death of a resident.

Beatrice Morgan – a resident of the Greencroft Nursing Home in Queensferry, Flintshire – suffered a nursing home scald injury on 29th August 2012, as she was being lowered by a hoist into a bath. Eighty-eight year old Beatrice cried out in pain as she touched the water and, although nursing staff acted promptly to raise her from the bath, she was taken to the Burns Unit at Whiston Hospital with 9 percent burns on her lower legs, trunk and left arm.

Beatrice developed pneumonia and a blood clot in her lungs following her nursing home scald injury, and died of complications the following month. The Health Service Executive (HSE) initiated an investigation into the incident and found that the temperature of hot water in the nursing home was not properly controlled to prevent it exceeding the maximum safe level of 44º Celsius. They also found that no risk assessment had been carried out and there had been a lack of staff training.

As a result of the HSE investigation, the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (SCCIW) carried out its own enquiry. The SCCIW enquiry raised serious concerns about the safety of the nursing home’s residents and applied to the court for the immediate closure of the nursing home. The company who owned the nursing home – Greencroft Care Ltd – has now gone into liquidation.

The HSE prosecuted Greencroft Care Ltd for the failures of health and safety which led to the nursing home scald injury and at the Flintshire Magistrates Court the company was found guilty in its absence. At the hearing, District Judge Gwyn Jones fined Greencroft Care Ltd. £5,000 but acknowledged that the fine was likely not be paid as the company was no longer trading and had no assets. He added that, had the company still existed, he would have referred the case to the Crown Court.

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Widower to Claim Compensation from Nursing Home over Death of Wife

A widower is preparing a legal case in order to claim compensation from a nursing home over the death of his wife while she was in the home´s care.

Joy Saunders (76) from Ipswich in Suffolk was admitted to the physiotherapy unit at the Bluebird Lodge Nursing Home in Ipswich on November 27th last year after suffering a stroke while on holiday in Spain.

Her husband – David – specifically asked nursing staff to erect bed rails alongside her bed to prevent her from falling out of the bed as she was distressed; but, on the first night she stayed at the nursing home, Joy tumbled onto the floor and banged her head.

David received a telephone call the following morning to say Joy had been found on the floor alongside the bed, but nobody could tell him how the accident happened or how long she had been lying there on her own.

Despite severe facial bruising and incoherent speech- and her husband´s concerns – medical staff at the nursing home failed to conduct proper tests to assess the extent of Joy´s injuries for two days, after which she was diagnosed with a brain haemorrhage.

Joy required around the clock care, and was moved to a hospice in December, where she died as a result of her injuries.

David Saunders is now taking legal action to claim compensation from the nursing home and the security company Serco – which operates community healthcare services in Suffolk under contract to the NHS.

He alleges that his wife´s death came as a direct result of her preventable fall from the nursing home´s bed, and that there was an unacceptable failure in the duty of care to examine his wife´s injuries in a timely manner.

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Nursing Home Neglect Claim Settled for Undisclosed Amount

The family of a woman who died after sustaining horrific bed sores in Sheffield nursing home are to receive an undisclosed amount of compensation from the home for clinical neglect.

Doreen Betts (78) from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, died in May 2009 due to blood poisoning, after sores on her feet were left untreated for three months. The pathologist, who carried out the post-mortem on Mrs Betts, claimed at the inquest into her death that the sores were the worst grade they could have been, and penetrated so deeply that they reached the bone.

The family of Mrs Betts had claimed in their actions against Kersal Mount Nursing Home (now known as The Laurels and The Limes) that staff had been advised by Mrs Betts’ GP to seek expert advice on the sores, but none was ever arranged. It was only when Mrs Betts’ daughter had visited her mother that an ambulance was called and Mrs Betts taken to hospital.

Even though the condition of the sores improved under hospital care, Mrs Betts was also suffering from extreme dehydration and renal failure. The cause of death was determined as sepsis – an infection of the blood caused by pressure sores – and it was the opinion of the pathologist at the inquest that Mrs Betts would still be alive today had staff acted on the advice of her GP.

An undisclosed out-of-court compensation settlement was agreed between legal representatives of Mrs Betts’ family and the nursing home.

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