Care Home Negligence Compensation Claims

By Lewis Morrison. Last Updated 16th November 2022. Welcome to our guide on claiming compensation for care home negligence. Have you or someone close to you been a victim of abuse in a care home? Or experienced negligent care in nursing homes? If so, you may be eligible to claim for the suffering endured.

Any healthcare provider, including staff and carers in a care home, are expected to provide their residents with a duty of care to keep them safe. This includes doing everything reasonably possible to prevent them from coming into harm. Failing to do so could lead to a patient’s condition worsening, poor mental health and, in more serious cases, death.

In some cases, liability may be complex as often care home residents are frail and sometimes ill so it may not always be apparent if their health issues are due to negligent treatment. However, in other cases, staff or carers may have been responsible for failing to take the needs of their residents seriously.

Our guide will take you through examples of when someone may have been negligent. And how to build a valid claim that may help you get the compensation you deserve.

Contact us on the following details for further help and advice, or continue reading for more information on care home negligence claims:

Care home negligence compensation claims guide

Care home negligence compensation claims guide

Select A Section

  1. What Is Care Home Negligence?
  2. Signs And Symptoms Of Care Home Negligence
  3. Pressure Sore Negligence
  4. Medication And Prescription Errors
  5. Harm Caused By Abuse
  6. Breaks And Fractures Caused By Falls
  7. Hospital Acquired Infections
  8. Failing To Meet A Primary Care Need
  9. Wrongful Deaths In A Care Home
  10. Care Home And Care Home Abuse Statistics
  11. Nursing Home Neglect – Claim Time Limits
  12. Care Home Neglect – Evidence Examples For Claims
  13. No Win No Fee Care Home Negligence Compensation Claims
  14. Get Help With Your Case
  15. Helpful Resources
  16. FAQs About Negligence And Neglect In Care Homes

What Is Care Home Negligence?

Negligence in a care home may involve the mistreatment of its elderly residents. This could include abuse or neglect such as:

  • Not providing care home residents with their medication when needed
  • Causing them to deteriorate physically or psychologically by ignoring their needs
  • Incidents of abuse

During the Covid-19 pandemic, lots of nursing and care homes were under tremendous strain as this particular virus affected the elderly more severely. However, this is not an excuse for any healthcare establishment to lower its standards.

The Care Quality Control (CQC) has a list of fundamental standards that everyone is entitled to. No matter if they are in a care home or receiving care from a nurse or doctor visiting a care home.

For instance:

  • Being treated with dignity and respect that includes being given privacy when you need and want it.
  • Be given safe treatment
  • Safeguarding from abuse
  • Where you receive care should be clean and looked after
  • Staff that have been vetted and have appropriate skills for the role

It is vital that care home residents are provided with the care and treatment they need. Failure to provide a constant level of care can mean that any conditions the resident is suffering from can quickly deteriorate. If you are not sure whether the level of care you or a loved one is receiving could be grounds for a care home negligence case call our care home claims team for more information.

Signs And Symptoms Of Care Home Negligence

There are many warning signs that you could look out for when visiting someone in a care home. These signs may help to determine whether your loved one may be suffering negligence so you can intervene early.

For example, you may notice your loved one experiencing:

  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Being over or under dosed with their medication
  • Unexplained bruising or other accidents that you may not have been made aware of by the staff
  • Bedsores or no treatment of them
  • Having their primary care need ignored
  • A low mood or not acting themselves mentally

If you do notice any of these or other signs that may be pointing towards neglect, you could report your concerns to staff in the care home.

However, if these concerns are not taken seriously, there may be other steps you could take. For instance, you could raise your concern with the CQC who may be able to advise on the action needed.

Pressure Sore Negligence

Pressure sores are ulcers that form on the skin. They are caused by prolonged pressure on the skin, usually from sitting down for long periods of time.

There are two sets of symptoms, early and late. The early symptoms include patches of discoloured skin, pain and itchiness. Whereas the late symptoms may include an open blister of three different severities:

  • An open wound or blister
  • A deep wound that may reach the deeper layers of the skin
  • A very deep wound that may reach the muscles or bone

Doctors may prescribe or provide such treatment of pressure sores which could include the following:

  • Moving patients regularly, so they aren’t sat in the same position
  • Applying dressings to help relieve pressure
  • In more serious cases carrying out a procedure to clean the wound and remove damaged tissue

According to the NHS, there are a few ways they could be prevented. For example, changing positions regularly. Or if you’re at higher risk of developing pressure sores, you could prevent them by checking your skin each day for signs of ulcers. However, if you are in a care home this should be done by the staff each day.

If pressure sores are left untreated, they could lead to infection and blood poisoning. Care home negligence in the UK could amount to the mismanagement of pressures sores that lead your condition to get worse more than it should have. It is vital that if you are at risk of suffering pressures sores you are moved position as much as possible.

Medication And Prescription Errors

According to the NHS, a medication overdose is the most common form of poisoning in the UK. It could lead to the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pains
  • Drowsiness
  • Fainting fits
  • Confusion

Medication overdoses can happen in the following ways:

  • Giving a patient the wrong dosage
  • Prescribing a patient medication with similar ingredients
  • Misdiagnosing an injury leading to the wrong medication being prescribed

Furthermore, a misdiagnosis can cause actual symptoms to worsen and lead to other complications.

Medication errors leading to an overdose is an example of medical negligence. However, they can also happen as a sign of self-harm or suicide and suicide attempts. They can also be accidental.

If you or someone you know was given the wrong medication or prescription, contact our team and they may be able to put you in touch with a medical negligence solicitor.

Harm Caused By Abuse

Care homes are expected to provide a minimum standard of care for their residents and patients.  However, in some cases, this standard isn’t met and signs of abuse may go unheeded, especially if they don’t get visitors very often.

Some examples of harm caused by abuse might include:

  • They are caused physical harm through mishandling
  • Living in a bad environment, unclean, unhygienic
  • They are physically attacked
  • Or sexually abused.

Additionally, if you notice someone showing signs of the following, you may need to raise it as a concern with the care home:

  • Unintentionally lost or gained weight
  • Unusually unsociable or unwilling to engage in social activities
  • Malnourished or dehydrated

However, if no action is taken from your report, you could report abuse through the government website.

Additionally, if you have any questions regarding claiming care home abuse, please contact our team on the number above for further help and advice.

Breaks And Fractures Caused By Falls

Accidents such as falls may happen through no fault of anyone else’s. In fact, falls are one of the common causes of injuries amongst the elderly.

According to the NHS, 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 and more than half of people over the age of 80 will have at least one fall a year.

However, they could be a result of avoidable accidents that could cause painful injuries in a care home.

For instance, injuries such as breaks and fractures. These could be caused by not ensuring the area is safe and suitable for the residents.

For example:

  • Not repairing or bringing attention to an uneven carpet in the hallway
  • Leaving physically impaired residents without assistance to move around, e.g. out of bed or down the stairs

Hospital Acquired Infections

A hospital acquired infection (HAI), such as the MRSA virus, can be picked up when someone stays or receives treatment in hospital.

People may be at risk of getting an HAI if they are older or more vulnerable patients. However, patients could also catch them through medical professionals failing to follow health and safety practices.

For example, if a patient has surgery or other treatment and a doctor or nurse fails to:

  • Change gloves between patients
  • Clean equipment

Failing To Meet A Primary Care Need

A primary care need is when someone has a specific care requirement for an ongoing physical or mental illness. For example, people who have difficulty with eating, drinking, taking medication and moving about independently.  Or problems with memory caused by Alzheimer’s or dementia.

As a result, an assessment may be carried out to determine whether someone should continue to get their care for free through the NHS. This might include care at home or a place in a care home.

It is vital that primary care needs are met as this could leave people unable to get out of bed for the day resulting in them becoming dehydrated or malnourished.

Wrongful Deaths In A Care Home

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), there were 131,149 deaths of care home residents in England during 2019/20. Please note that these statistics do not reflect negligence in care homes they are simply stating how many residents passed away while in a care home.

Wrongful death is when someone dies when they did not need to. These refer to negligence being the cause of someone passing away.

Some examples of how this might have happened could include a carer:

  • Providing a resident with the incorrect care for their specific needs
  • Withholding care altogether

If a care worker provides a poor standard of care that directly causes a death that otherwise could have been avoided, you may be able to claim for care home negligence on behalf of a loved one.

Call our team on the number above for more information.

Care Home And Care Home Abuse Statistics

According to Age UK, there were 400,000 people in care homes across the UK in 2019. Additionally, the Office of National Statistics predicts there will be a growth of 36% in people aged 85 and over between 2015 and 2025. This, in turn, may lead to a higher demand for places in care homes.

The table below highlights the different types of abuse reported. The figures are provided by the World Health Organisation so they don’t just cover cases of care home abuse in the UK.

However, they do provide an idea of the types of abuse and neglect that may occur in care homes.

care home negligence

Nursing Home Neglect – Claim Time Limits

As set out in the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit for beginning care home claims is generally three years from the date of the negligence or three years from the date it was confirmed that someone else’s negligence had caused your injuries.

Nursing home neglect can sometimes affect someone who lacks the mental capacity to claim. In this circumstance, the time limit is suspended until they regain the mental capacity to make decisions. However, a litigation friend can claim on their behalf during the suspended period.

In addition, if a child suffers from care home negligence, they would have three years from the date of their 18th birthday to start a claim. A litigation friend can also act on their behalf before they turn 18.

If you have any questions about the limitation period, speak to our advisors at any time.

Care Home Neglect – Evidence Examples For Claims

As stated already, healthcare providers, including care home staff, owe their patients a duty of care. To claim care home neglect compensation, you will need to prove that you or a loved one suffered harm because of neglect in a care home.

Examples of evidence that could be used in neglect in care homes claims:

  • CCTV footage or mobile phone footage.
  • Photographs of the scene or of the injuries.
  • Medical records.
  • Witness contact details.

You may like to hire the services of a solicitor specialising in care home negligence claims. A solicitor could support you through the claims process and help you gather evidence of care home neglect.

Call our advisors today for free advice about what you could submit to support care home neglect claims.

How much is my claim worth?

We have created a compensation table that may explain how much your claim could be worth.

They provide figures of compensation you may receive for your injury under general damages. Any additional damages are not covered.

The figures come from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), a document solicitors often use to value claims.

However, the figures should only be used as a guide as other factors may be considered during the claims process.

Pelvis and hipsSevere: (i) An extensive fracture of the pelvis such as dislocation and a ruptured bladder along with ongoing complications like lack of bladder control. £78,400 to £130,930
Pelvis and hipsModerate: (i) Although there may be a significant injury to either the pelvis or hip, there won't be any major permanent issues.£26,590 to £39,170
Pelvis and hipsLesser injuries: (ii) Injuries in this bracket will have a complete recovery and consist of minor soft tissue injuries.Up to £3,950
ArmA simple forearm fracture £6,610 to £19,200

WristA less severe injury that continues to cause pain and stiffness£12,590 to £24,500
LegLess serious: (ii) A simple femur fracture £9,110 to £14,080
LegLess serious: (iii) Injuries in this bracket may include simple tibia or fibula fracture as well as soft tissue injuriesUp to
Mental AnguishThis covers any fear of impending death or a fear of life expectancy being reduced £4,670

If you have any questions about how much your claim may be worth, contact us on the number above, and our team will be available to help.

No Win No Fee Care Home Negligence Compensation Claims

Understandably, you may be apprehensive about using a solicitor due to the costs normally associated with legal representation. However, the option of a No Win No Fee agreement could help.

If your solicitor fails to win your claim for compensation, you won’t pay solicitor fees. If your solicitor is successful, you’ll pay a success fee that’s capped. However, you can decide on this fee with your solicitor before your claim begins.

Most importantly, having a solicitor represent you on a No Win No Fee basis allows you to avoid upfront costs.

Additionally, you can benefit from having an expert solicitor handling your case and advising you through each step of your claim.

Get Help With Your Case

We understand that we’ve covered a lot of information in our guide. However, the most important thing to remember is that we’re here to help.

If you have any questions after reading, you can contact our advisors. They are available 24/7 and can offer free legal advice and answer any questions you may have regarding your personal injury claim.

Additionally, if you’re unsure whether you have a valid claim, they can assess whether it has a chance of success. If it does, they can connect you with a solicitor who can advise on the next steps you may need to take.

For more information, contact us on the following:

  • Telephone on 0800 652 3087
  • Live chat at the bottom of the page
  • Send us an enquiry using the form

Helpful Resources

For more information on claiming compensation for pressure sores, see our guide.

If you require further details on making a medical negligence claim, our guide could help.

Visit our guide for more information on claiming compensation for hospital negligence.

To learn more about medical and clinical negligence claims, head here

For more information on abuse and neglect in care homes, see the NHS guidance.

For more care home statistics, see the State of Care Report by the Care Quality Commission.

Visit Age UK for help and support for elderly people.

FAQs About Negligence And Neglect In Care Homes

We’ve included some answers to common questions we’re asked about care home claims.

Can you sue a care home for neglect?

If you suffered neglect in a care home, you may be able to claim compensation for the pain and suffering you’ve endured. However, evidence is key.

What is neglect in a care home?

There are many examples of neglect that could happen in a care home. For example, residents not being provided with the right food or enough food and not being given proper care.

Can I take legal action against a care home?

If you or your parent have had your duty of care breached by a care home that’s resulted in avoidable harm, then you may be able to claim against a care home.

Thank you for reading our guide on claiming compensation for care home negligence. We hope you found it helpful.

Guide by Megan

Edited by LisM.