Negligence In A Nursing Home, How Do I Claim Compensation?

By Marlon Rudy. Last Updated 15th August 2022. If you find out that a loved one has been neglected in a care home, you might want to know how you can do something about it. This guide is about how to complain about neglect in a nursing home.

We’ll provide examples of different types of nursing home negligence and information on how to complain. Also, if the neglect has caused a patient to suffer an injury, you could look at claiming compensation on their behalf.

Neglect in a nursing home

Neglect in a nursing home

Here at Medical Negligence Assist, we can help you begin nursing home negligence claims. Our team of specialist advisors provide a no-obligation assessment of any claim. As a result of your assessment, you’ll also receive free legal advice about your options.

Should your claim be strong enough, we could introduce you to a medical negligence lawyer from our panel to help you claim. If they take your claim on, they’ll work on a No Win, No Fee basis.

To begin a claim today, please call an advisor on 0800 652 3087. If you’d prefer to find out more about how to report a negligent nursing home before calling, please carry on reading our helpful guide.

Jump To A Section

A Guide On How To Report A Negligent Nursing Home

When you have to make the decision to move a loved one into a nursing home, you need to have complete faith that the staff will look after them and treat them correctly. If you then find out that your loved one has been neglected and been caused to suffer you may want to know how to complain and possibly make a compensation claim as well.

Therefore, we’ll look at the different complaint routes you could follow. We’ll also help you decide whether a compensation claim might be possible. Proving that suffering has been caused by neglect can often be difficult to prove. Therefore, we’d advise you to contact a clinical negligence solicitor for legal advice as soon as possible. There are time limits for claiming, which we’ll look at later, but the more time you give a solicitor to prepare a case, the better.

During this guide, we’ll look at the different types of neglect in a nursing home, the different types of injury that could lead to a claim and what amount of compensation might be paid. We’ll also try to answer the following common questions:

  • What constitutes neglect in a nursing home?
  • How do I report neglect in a nursing home?
  • Do I need to complain before claiming compensation in nursing home neglect cases?

When you’ve finished reading our guide, if you’d like to begin a compensation claim or have further questions, then please call and speak with a specialist advisor. We know that it might be difficult to discuss this type of claim so we will work at your pace and won’t pressure you into making a claim.

What Is Negligence Or Neglect In A Nursing Home?

Care and nursing homes have a duty of care to ensure patient/resident safety wherever possible. This means that they must use the correct equipment and procedures when carrying out certain tasks.

If you are thinking about making a compensation claim for neglect in a nursing home, you’ll need to prove 3 things:

  1. That the care home owed a duty of care. This will be the case for any resident of a care home.
  2. That they breached their duty of care in some way (through a negligent act).
  3. And that the negligence caused a resident to suffer in some way. This could be a physical or psychological injury. It could also mean that the resident was made ill or an underlying condition was made worse.

It’s not always necessary to raise a formal complaint about a nursing home if you want to claim compensation. It could help though because the report from a formal complaint could indicate what happened, who was to blame and what suffering the neglect caused. Therefore, we advise that you check with your solicitor to see if they think complaining would be helpful.

What Constitutes Nursing Home Negligence?

As described already, neglect in a nursing home can start when a care home breaches its duty of care. This duty of care means residents should always be safe wherever possible, comfortable and unharmed. Any neglect could mean you want to raise a complaint about the level of care provided. Neglect which leads to harm could mean the resident is entitled to claim compensation for their suffering.

If you’re concerned that a relative or loved one has suffered as the result of negligence in a care home, we could help you claim compensation on their behalf. Contact an advisor today for a no-obligation assessment of the claim and free legal advice on your options.

Types Of Harm Or Negligence Which Could Be Reported

There are many different types of negligence which could be complained about or lead to a compensation claim. Here are some examples:

  • Where a resident is not provided with their prescribed medicine at the right time.
  • If an injury is caused because incorrect lifting techniques were attempted.
  • Where a resident is injured in a slip, trip or fall. This could be the result of a spillage, damaged handrails or cleaning.
  • If a resident suffers from bedsores or pressure sores because they were not moved regularly.
  • Where dehydration is caused by a lack of fluids being provided.
  • Any form of abuse in a nursing home.

Remember to make a compensation claim, you’ll need to show that the negligent act caused some form of suffering. The types of injury that could lead to a claim include pressure sores, a break or fracture, concussion and also infection.

Even if you don’t see a scenario which matches your case, we could still help you claim. Please get in touch with an advisor and let them know what happened. They’ll assess your case and let you know if you might be entitled to claim compensation.

Who Is Able To Report Nursing Home Negligence?

Any relative, friend or loved one could raise a concern about neglect in a nursing home. You shouldn’t be afraid to speak up because, without complaints, improvements can’t be made. Also, by raising your concerns, you could be highlighting wider-ranging issues that affect others as well as your relative or friend.

In the coming sections of this guide, we’ll look at the different ways to complain if you self-fund the nursing home or if it’s funded by the local government. Whichever method you use, here are some important tips to help you:

  • When communicating with the care home, local authority or an ombudsman, put everything in writing. Emails and written letters can help prove what was said by whom.
  • Write down the details of any telephone conversations. Make a note of the time, date and name of the person you spoke to. Also, write down anything you were told.
  • In the same manner, record details of any meetings. Again, time, dates and names of people who were present.
  • Keep a diary of your complaint. This can help when reviewing the complaint to make sure any response is accurate. It could also help a solicitor if you decide to sue the care home for neglect.

When you write a letter of complaint, try to:

  • Provide information about who or what you’re complaining about. Where possible include the name and position of the person you blame.
  • Outline any action you’ve already taken as well as details of any response.
  • Provide information on where and when the event took place.
  • Importantly, include information about how you want your complaint to be resolved i.e. what actions do you want the nursing home to take.

How To Report Negligence In A Local Authority Managed Nursing Home

If the nursing home is run by the local authority, then you could contact them directly if you want to raise a complaint. You could contact the nursing home manager in the first instance and raise the complaint informally. If they’re unable to resolve your concerns, then the council or local authority should be informed.

Complaints Under The Care Act Of 2014

The Care Act 2014, is a piece of legislation that is used to set out the local authorities’ duty to assess patient’s eligibility for publicly funded care. The act requires local authorities to:

  • Assess anybody likely to require care and support.
  • Involve the person in the assessment (or somebody they nominate).
  • Consider alternatives to care which could support the person.
  • Use a national minimum threshold to judge eligibility for publicly funded care.

Safeguarding Duties Of A Local Authority

The safeguarding responsibilities of local authorities towards people in care homes include:

  • To stop neglect and abuse.
  • Safeguard people in a way that allows them to have control and make choices about how they wish to live.
  • Address the cause of any known neglect or abuse.
  • Concentrate on improving life for the resident.

If you believe that a care home, or the local authority, has breached its safeguarding responsibilities, then you could be entitled to complain.

How To Report Negligence In A Nursing Home I Pay For

When you are paying care home fees directly, there is still a way in which you can raise complaints. As with the previous section, you could begin by raising your concerns with the manager of the nursing home. This can help resolves issues quickly and mean they could change the way your relative is cared for.

However, if that doesn’t work, you could raise your complaint with the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman. They can investigate individual complaints when something has gone wrong. They are an independent body but do liaise and share information with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Any complaint raised with the ombudsman must be submitted within 12-months of the date you became aware of the matter.

Who To Notify Of Care Home Neglect Or Negligence

As explained in the previous section, in the first instance, you could discuss the alleged neglect with the nursing home manager informally. You may be able to resolve the matter in this way without a formal complaint.

If you’re unable to resolve the matter informally, you could approach the local council if the placement is funded by them. If the resident is self-funded, the next step would be to raise your concerns with the local government and social care ombudsman who provide an independent complaints service.

Even though the Care Quality Commission don’t handle individual complaints, you could still contact them and make them aware that you are complaining.

What Happens If Care Was Refused By A Resident?

Any resident of a nursing home could refuse to have any treatment or medication that they don’t want. If the nursing home says that’s the reason that your relative didn’t receive the expected standard of care, you should ask them to prove that’s the case. If the refusal isn’t documented in the patient’s notes, you could still possibly be entitled to claim compensation on their behalf.

Time limits To Claim For Negligence In A Nursing Home

In England and Wales, there is a 3-year time limit for medical negligence cases. This is the same as the personal injury claims time limit. The time limit begins from the date when the patient becomes aware of the injuries sustained as the result of a negligent act.

Calculating Negligent Nursing Home Compensation Claims

When making a compensation claim, your solicitor can claim for two different heads of loss: general damages and special damages. General damages are used to compensate for pain, suffering and loss of amenity caused by the injuries. Instead of a personal injury claims calculator, we’ve included the table below to show some compensation amounts that could be paid as general damages.

Type Of InjurySeverityCompensation RangeNotes
ArmSubstantial£39,170 to £59,860

A fracture causing a permanent disability
HandSerious£29,000 to £61,910An injury to the hand which results in a reduction of capacity to half of it's capability
NeckModerate (i)£24,990 to
Injuries which include fractures and dislocations that cause immediate severe symptoms and could mean spinal fusion is required.
Neck Moderate (iii)£7,890 to
Soft tissue injuries with an unusually long recovery time
BackModerate (ii)£12,510 to £27,760Where ligament or muscle damage caused backache or prolapsed discs are included in this category.
LegLess serious£17,960 to £27,760Fractures of the leg where an incomplete recovery is made. i.e. where metal plates remain in the leg and the claimant ends up with a limp.
LegSimple Fracture£9,110 to £14,080

This category covers simple femur fractures.
ShoulderModerate£7,890 to £12,770A frozen shoulder
AnkleModestUp to £13,740Ligament damage, sprains and minor or undisplaced fractures of the ankle.
WristSimple FractureIn the region of £7,430Colles' fracture

As you can see, the figures are based on the severity of the injury. This means that it’s important for a solicitor to provide enough evidence to show the true extent of the suffering caused.

Special damages are used to compensate you for any financial loss or expenses incurred as a result of any suffering. There are many different elements to special damages, these include:

  • Medical Costs.
    You could claim for any prescriptions or other medication you need to pay for.
  • Travelling Costs.
    You might incur costs when travelling to doctors, hospitals or pharmacies. Therefore, these costs could be included in your claim.
  • Property Damage
    If any item of personal property is damaged in an accident caused by neglect, you could ask for the cost of repairing or replacing the item. This could include clothing, jewellery or spectacles.

To help a solicitor prove the special damages part of a claim, evidence like bank statements and receipts can be used. It’s also a good idea to write a diary about spending. That will make it easier to remember why you spent money and how it was linked to the injury. Finally, if you’re unsure whether something can be claimed back, then we’d advise that you discuss it with your solicitor before committing to it. They’ll be able to advise on the chances of claiming the cost back.

Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer – No Win No Fee Solicitors

If you are eligible to sue a nursing home for negligence, a nursing home negligence lawyer could help you make a claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

With a No Win No Fee agreement, you don’t need to pay your solicitor before or during your claim. If you are awarded compensation, they will take a success fee – this is a percentage of the compensation with a legal cap of 25%.

You do not pay the success fee as an out-of-pocket cost – a success fee can only come from the awarded compensation. If your claim does not succeed, you don’t need to pay your solicitor at all.

If you are ready to make a claim, please speak to one of our advisers for more information about suing a nursing home for malpractice with a No Win No Fee solicitor.

Contact Medical Negligence Assist

We hope that you’ve found this guide informative and helpful. If you’ve decided you’d like to make a claim, and you’d like Medical Negligence Assist to help you begin, here are the best ways to contact us:

  • Telephone: You can call an advisor for free claims advice on 0800 652 3087.
  • Live Chat: An online advisor can discuss your claim with you night or day.
  • Online: Or, if you prefer, you could ask us to call you back by completing our online claims form.

Our claims line is open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week so you can call when it’s most convenient for you. We’ll begin by listening to your claim, what suffering was caused and what evidence you have to support your claim. One of the solicitors from our panel could take your claim on if they believe it is strong enough. They’ll keep you updated throughout your claim and be on hand to explain any technical legal jargon along the way. Our panel of solicitors always try to ensure that the right level of compensation is awarded to cover the suffering caused.

Helpful Links

You’ve now reached the last section of this guide about complaining or claiming for neglect in a nursing home. To provide further assistance, we’ve linked to some more of our guides and some additional links from relevant external sources.

Problems With A Care Home – Advice from Age UK about how to report nursing home neglect or raise complaints.

Care Home Inspection Reports – This Care Quality Commission website allows you to search for care home inspection ratings.

Care Home Health And Safety – Advice from the Health and Safety Executive regarding safety procedures in care and nursing homes.

Below, you can find links to all of our medical negligence claims guides:

If there is any other information you require, please get in touch with an advisor today.

Written by Brett

Edited by Lis.