The purpose of a care home is to provide care and assistance for those who find it difficult to care for themselves. Unfortunately, in some cases, the care provided can fall below an acceptable standard. If neglect or abuse is suspected, concerns should be raised with the care provider immediately.
Care homes have a legal duty of care to their residents to ensure that they provide a safe standard of living. They must take steps to minimise the risk of injury occurring.
If care homes fail to take the steps to provide a safe environment for their residents, for example failing to carry out adequate risk assessments or providing the necessary standard of care and an injury occurs, it is likely that a claim for negligence can be brought and the care home maybe liable to pay compensation for the injuries caused.
The most common types of care home neglect are:
- Pressure sores
- Injuries from avoidable trips, falls or handling errors
- Unexpected and avoidable deaths
- Errors in administering medication such as neglecting to administer or incorrectly administering.
- Malnutrition and dehydration
To bring a successful claim for negligence you need to show:
- That the care provided by the home and/or its staff fell below an acceptable standard.
- This is called a breach of duty, and can occur either by a negligent act or by neglect;
- That this breach of duty caused a physical and/or financial loss that would not have been suffered if the breach had not occurred.
Most homes are run by private companies, however, where the home is run by a public authority, it may also be possible to bring a claim under the Human Rights Act 1998.
Public authorities must make sure they respect and protect your human rights when they provide health and care services. If a public authority has treated a care home resident badly, then a case maybe brought to make a complaint or take action in work.
Article 2 of the Human Rights Act sets out everyone’s right to life. It imposes a positive obligation on NHS care homes and hospitals to take adequate and appropriate steps to safeguard life. If neglect and/or malpractice in a care home setting leads to a patient’s death, a claim may be brought under Article 2 of the Human Rights Act. There are considerable benefits to bringing a claim under the Human Rights Act, including compensation which is uncapped.
Article 3 of the Human Rights Act details the `right to freedom from inhumane and degrading treatment’, an example of such neglect could be when a patient develops a pressure sore.
If you feel you are in a position to put forward a claim or you are looking for advice regarding suspected neglect – please contact us for a confidential initial appointment on 01792 468684 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.