Unfortunately, neglect in care homes is a very real and prevalent issue. From understaffing to lack of training – care home negligence can come in many forms. Within this article, we will discuss the ever-growing issue of negligence in care homes and the common types of accidents that can easily occur due to this negligence. We will explain how you could make a claim when accidents do happen to you, a loved one or a family member residing in a care home.
Negligence was defined in Blyth v Birmingham Waterworks Co  as:
Omitting to do something which a reasonable man would do, or doing something which a reasonable man would not do.
Negligence requires three elements to establish fault – the defendant owed the claimant a duty of care; the defendant breached that duty of care, and the breach of care caused some sort of loss. In personal injury cases, the loss is often pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
Negligence in care homes
Care homes and their workers owe all residents and fellow workers within their care home a duty of care. This duty of care is a legal and professional requirement to protect others and keep them safe whilst they are in their care. Workers must act in the resident’s best interest whilst not acting or failing to act where there is a reasonable foreseeability or risk of causing harm. Workers in care homes must act within their competence and abilities and must not take on any work that is outside of this.
The decision to put a loved one or family member in a care home is often a difficult one. We all want the ones we care about to be treated with the utmost care, dignity, and respect when they are entering their twilight years or are considered very vulnerable. The conversation between family members and their loved one is often challenging as many people do not want to be put into a care home. This is due to feeling like their independence is being stripped away and when care home negligence does occur and this results in injury, it is often very incredibly difficult to deal with. This is because we rightly expect a certain standard of care for the ones that we care the most about.
Unfortunately, failures can occur, and this can result in injury, illness, or distress. If this occurs, you may be entitled to claim compensation from the care home.
Common types of medical negligence in care homes
- Pressure sores and ulcers caused by the patients skin being in contact with their bed for a long period of time. If left untreated, these sores can be very painful and can often lead to infection which makes them very difficult to heal, sometimes unable to ever heal. The sores can limit the patient’s ability to move and decreases their quality of life. Infections can also lead to life-threatening complications such as sepsis if left untreated. Pressure sores can be prevented by turning the patient regularly to ensure the skin is not kept in contact with the bed for a very long period of time.
- Prescription errors which could include providing the patient with the incorrect medication – giving them too much or giving them too little, resulting in illness or worse.
- Failing to keep accurate medical records. This could be life-threatening members of staff may not be aware of certain medical conditions that need to be medicated or treated leaving the condition to go untreated.
- Fractures, bruises, or soft tissue injuries resulting from falls or incorrect handling methods. This could be due to failing to provide adequate supervision or essential mobility aids. Poor housekeeping could cause falls such as wet floors. Staff may also handle the patient inaccurately, for example, handling a patient with low bone density should be handled very carefully. Lack of training and poorly maintained lifting equipment can lead to handling injuries.
- Skin infections due to unclean bedding or clothing.
- Horrifically, physical injuries can occur due to abuse from the care home staff or fellow residents which can result in psychological injury.
It is often difficult to value a claim without looking at the entire situation holistically. However, below you can find a table that shows the average compensation amount for some injuries that may occur due to care home negligence. The values are taken from the 16th Edition of the Judicial College Guidelines. Please note that the amounts are estimates and a number of individual factors to your case will change this amount.
|Moderate back injury – such as ligament and muscle damage resulting in back ache, soft tissue injuries or acceleration/exacerbation of pre-existing back problems. For 5+ years.||£12,510 – £27,760|
|Serious hand injury – injuries resulting in the hand being at 50% capacity.||£29,000 – £61,910|
|Less serious leg injury – fractures and soft tissue injuries that recover to an extent but there may be some cosmetic problems and restrictive function.||£17,960 – £27,760|
How do I make a claim?
If you or a loved one has been a victim of care home negligence or has experienced an accident whilst in care, you may make a claim/on their behalf. In order to make a claim on someone else’s behalf, you must be either immediate family members of the victim, the estate of the victim or the dependants of the victim. Please contact us for a free consultation if you wish to make a care home claim.
When making a claim for care home negligence, you are able to claim for general damages – which is the pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by the negligence. You can also claim for special damages which are further expenses because of the accident. Such as:
- Loss of earnings
- Counselling costs
- Medical expenses
- Travel fees
- Funeral expenses – if your loved one passed away due to the negligence of the care home.
Why choose GSR Solicitors?
- Personal Injury experts
- No win, No Fee, with No Hidden Costs
- Awarded Best-Top Rated Personal Injury Solicitors in Preston 2022
- Awarded Best Nationwide Personal Injury Law Firm 2022 by the Northern Enterprise Awards 2022
- Client driven, friendly and dedicated
We will deal with your claim on a no win, no fee basis so you don’t need to worry about any costs. To get started, simply fill in our contact form and someone from our team will be in touch for a free consultation. Or you can also call 01772 356201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.