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Care home neglect: cases rising

Care homes are a very hot topic at the moment. But sometimes, they are in the headlines for all the wrong reasons; care home neglect.

There are some outstanding care homes that really do provide excellent care for their residents. Unfortunately though, care home neglect claims are on the increase due to the poor standard of care provided at some establishments. Common complaints are substandard treatment resulting from staff shortages, untrained staff or failing to carry out risk assessments.

Many families are able to care for elderly relatives at home for the majority of the time. But when they need that all important break they often call on the support of a care home.

Recent case study

One such family took their relative to a care home that they felt met their needs, for a few days respite. The elderly lady was a paraplegic requiring a high level of care. Her care plan included bowel evacuation and catheter and pressure sore care. The manager of the home assured the family that they could meet the care needs.

After the pre-arranged 6 days, the family went back to collect their relative and take her home. They were upset to find that she seemed unwell, had a strange smell about her and she seemed very confused and uncomfortable.

An investigation carried out by the Safeguarding Authority found that her care plan had not been followed by the home, despite earlier reassurances.

Her bowels had not been evacuated, nor had she been given a bath or shower during her stay. Her pressure sore had deteriorated through lack of care and her catheter site had not been cleaned, resulting in a urinary tract infection.

Liability was admitted by the care home and an out of court settlement agreed.

Katrina Elsey, personal injury lawyer, who specialises in advising families on cases of this kind, said: “Care homes have a duty to maintain certain safety standards that ensure vulnerable residents are looked after in the right manner.

“I would urge all care homes to ensure the safety of residents and this case highlights that unfortunately, this resident was not properly cared for on this occasion which led to her experiencing unnecessary pain and suffering.”

Looking for a care home?

The Care Quality Commission has produced guidance on What you can expect from a good care home

Need legal help?

If you are concerned about the standard of care you or a family member have received in a care home setting, call us for a chat about your options – 01302 320621 or email