Nursing Home Neglect
What is nursing home abuse and neglect?
Elderly patients that are in the care of nursing homes are at risk of suffering from abuse or neglect by those entrusted to care for them. While both neglect and abuse result in harm to a patient and are often considered to be the same, abuse often refers to a situation where there is a clear intention to harm the patient. Neglect or negligence in nursing homes is often due to a failure by nursing home staff to fulfil their duties to the patient.
Nursing homes and their staff have a duty to the patient to ensure that they are looked after in a protected environment and are not mistreated in any way. If you are concerned that you or a loved one has suffered from neglect in nursing home neglect you may be entitled to bring a claim for compensation against the nursing home and/or staff involved.
What are the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect?
New patients are admitted to a Nursing Home only on the basis of a full assessment undertaken by people trained to do so, and to which the patient, his/her representatives (if any) and relevant professionals have been party.
For individuals referred through Care Management arrangements, the Nursing home obtains a summary of the Care Management (health and social services) assessment and a copy of the Care Plan produced for care management purposes.
For individuals who are self-funding and without a Care Management assessment/Care Plan, the Nursing Home carries out a needs assessment covering:
- personal care and physical well-being
- diet and weight, including dietary preferences
- sight, hearing and communication
- oral health
- foot care
- mobility and dexterity
- history of falls
- medication usage
- mental state and cognition
- social interests, hobbies, religious and cultural needs
- personal safety and risk
- carer and family involvement and other social contacts/relationships. to ensure that the patient’s needs are met.
Nursing negligence may occur where there is a failure by the nursing home to compile a needs assessment, or there is a failure to follow the care plan/needs assessment or there is a failure by the nursing home to review or update the care plan/needs assessment. Below are some examples of possible nursing negligence:
A nursing home may be considered negligent if a patient is at risk of falls but there is a failure to put safe guards in place. For example if a patient is at risk of falling out of bed but there is a failure by the home to put cot sides up, leading to the patient falling out of bed and injuring themselves.
Pressure Sores (bedsores)
A nursing home may be considered negligent if a patient is at risk of developing pressure sores but there is a failure to supply preventative equipment and/or to regularly move the patient leading to the development of a pressure sore.
Food and Water
A nursing home may be considered negligent if a patient is at risk of malnutrition/dehydration,(for example a patient with dementia who has no motivation to feed themselves), but there is a failure to ensure that the patient is assisted to eat and drink and/or a failure to monitor the patients food and fluid intake, leading to the development of malnutrition, dehydration or other related conditions.
These are just a few examples of the types of negligence that can occur in a nursing home.
Can I bring a claim for nursing home negligence?
If you or a loved one has suffered from any form of neglect in a nursing home you may be entitled to bring a claim, please contact Davies and Partners and speak to one of our medical negligence specialist Solicitors for a free initial consultation. We will seek to advise you as to whether or not you have a valid claim for compensation and, if so, talk you through the process of making a claim and answer any questions you may have.