Nursing care and nursing home claims
Nurses are often referred to as the unsung heroes of medicine. The ones who care for patients when they are at their most vulnerable and who go above and beyond to nurse them back to health. For the most part nurses are all of this and more. But sometimes, mistakes can be made and those mistakes can cause serious injury to patients and nursing home residents.
With over 400 years’ combined experience dealing with negligence claims, Fletchers Solicitors understands the emotional pain nursing home negligence can cause. We believe that everyone should have access to quality legal representation and that’s why we offer a No Win, No Fee agreement, so you have financial peace of mind and focus your energy on healing.
What are nursing care and nursing home negligence claims?
When you admit a vulnerable loved one to a nursing home or nurse’s care, you put your trust in that establishment or individual to provide a level of care. So when mistakes are made or negligence occurs, it can feel like a betrayal.
As a patient you are owed a duty of care by the nurse looking after you. If the nurse breaches that duty of care and, as a result, you or a close loved one suffers avoidable harm, then you could be entitled to claim compensation.
You can bring a nursing home negligence claim against a private hospital or an NHS environment, as the level of care should be of a reasonable standard in both environments.
When investigating your claim, our specialist medical negligence lawyers will determine if it is possible to prove that negligence occurred. If negligence and the resulting harm can be proved, our solicitors will fight to secure compensation for any injuries or losses suffered as a result of the substandard care that was received. Compensation will also be paid for any financial losses that flow from the incident. If the patient will require treatment or additional care or equipment as a result of the harm suffered, now or in the future, this will also be recoverable.
When you or a loved one is suffering from negligence experienced in a nursing home, navigating the legal system can seem like an overwhelming task. Fletchers Solicitors’ dedicated legal teams can guide you through the legal process with sensitivity and compassion, helping you secure justice and compensation for you and your family.
Different types of nursing care and nursing home claims
The phrase “care home” covers lots of different institutions and includes day homes, care homes, residential care homes, nursing homes and even hospitals or hospices.
Whilst loved ones are usually safe in care homes, neglect and abuse can occur in these environments.
Neglect is defined as a failure to provide care or an adequate level of care. This is often seen as a lack of basic care, such as leaving the resident unwashed, or without food or drink, failing to supervise or monitor them regularly, failing to attend to their medical needs, or provide medication. Abuse, on the other hand, is an act upon the resident. It is a deliberate act of harm and is often a physical assault, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse.
Examples of the injuries that flow from inadequate nursing care include, but are not limited to:
- Pressure sores which have developed due to the carers failing to move immobile residents frequently enough
- Failure to follow adequate hygiene procedures and/or failing to clean or dress the wound causing infection or failing to prevent infection
- Failure to take account of the patient’s history and/or notes in regards to allergies to ensure appropriate medical treatment is provided, for example removing latex gloves if the patient is allergic to latex
- Broken bones, cuts and bruises and soft tissue injuries that are caused as a result of falls or trips, or falls out of bed
- Restraining injuries caused by careless handling of the resident
- Failure to monitor a patient adequately, leading to delayed diagnosis, treatment and avoidable suffering
- Incorrectly administering medication, or failing to administer prescribed medication, which causes avoidable pain or other side effects
- Communications errors whereby staff have failed to communicate relevant information about a patient’s condition to a colleague, causing avoidable suffering
- Incorrectly following instructions for care left by the doctor in charge thereby failing to contain the patient’s suffering
- Food poisoning can occur if food hygiene regulations are not followed
In terms of nursing home abuse claims, Fletchers Solicitors have successfully secured compensation for injuries including:
- Physical harm including cuts, bruises, soft tissue injuries and broken bones together with restraining marks in respect of the physical harm encountered
- Psychological harm from the emotional abuse suffered
If you think you or a loved one suffered negligence in a nursing home, then Fletchers Solicitors will help you to gather all the evidence you need to make your claim. Our experienced team will take the stress out of the legal process, guiding you every step of the way to secure the compensation you deserve.
Is there a time limit on making a nursing care or nursing home claim?
A claimant needs to start the claim within three years of the negligent treatment or three years from the date that they realised that their injury was caused as a result of the negligence – whichever is the most recent. If claims are not brought to the court’s attention within three years, then you could miss the opportunity to make a claim. Therefore, we advise that you contact a solicitor as soon as you suspect the injury was caused as a result of the negligence, even if you do not yet have the proof.
The patient can instruct solicitors direct. Alternatively, the next of kin of the patient can bring the claim if the patient is under the age of 18 or does not have capacity to bring the claim themselves. In instances where the patient has died, as long as the patient was entitled to bring the claim at the time of their death, then the person entitled to deal with the Estate, by virtue of the Will or relationship to the patient, who is named in the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration, as appropriate, may bring the claim after the death.
Most claims are resolved between 18 and 24 months, but our advisors can give you a better idea of timescales once we know the details of your claim. Claims may be resolved more quickly if the opponent admits the error, which we refer to as liability, and if no further medical treatment is required. The more complicated the injury, the longer a claim will take to settle.
If you or a loved one have suffered negligence while in a care or nursing home, hospital or hospice, then Fletcher Solicitors can help you seek the justice you deserve.
Contact us today to find out how we can guide you through the legal process.