Medication Errors In Elderly Care – Could I Make A Compensation Claim?

Medication Errors In Elderly Care

Medication Errors In Elderly Care Claims Guide

This guide will explain if you could be eligible to claim compensation for medication errors in elderly care. Elderly care means any healthcare that serves the medical needs of senior citizens.

Examples of elderly care include:

  • Care homes and nursing homes
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Daycare centres
  • Home care
  • Hospice care

Practitioners and carers that work in elderly care might care for vulnerable people. So, it is vitally important that they provide patients with the right medication. If medication errors in care homes or other facilities happen, the patient may suffer an avoidable injury or illness.

If an elderly care provider has made a medication error that has caused you or a loved one to become ill, Medical Negligence Assist may be able to help you. Call our claims team today to see if you could be eligible to make a medication error claim for compensation.

Contact Medical Negligence Assist to enquire:

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What Are Medication Errors In Elderly Care?

Medication errors can happen during the dispensing, monitoring, administering or prescribing of medication. Subsequently, the patient may take the wrong type of medication or the wrong dosage. Therefore the patient could be injured, or their pre-existing medical condition may worsen.

Practitioners and carers who work in elderly care have a duty of care towards their patients, which means that they must provide patients with the required standard of care. If a practitioner or carer provides a patient with substandard care that leaves them avoidably harmed, this is known as negligence. Therefore those responsible for the negligence can be held liable for the harm that was caused.

Medication error claims can be against different parties, such as medical negligence claims against the NHS Trust, which treated you. Or you could claim against a private healthcare provider depending on where the error took place. Moreover, if your relative was harmed but is not mentally fit to make a claim, you could act as a litigation friend and claim on their behalf. Please get in touch with Medical Negligence Assist to learn more.

How Common Are Medication Errors?

A report by the British Medical Journal looked into the prevalence of medication errors in England. The report found the following:

  • It is estimated 237 million medication errors happen in the NHS in England each year
  • 66 million of the errors are potentially deemed “clinically significant.”
  • The medication errors cost the NHS over £98 million a year
  • Moreover, it is estimated that medication errors contributed to 712 to 1,708 deaths respectively.

Examples Of Medication Errors In Elderly Care

Medication errors in elderly care could happen for different reasons and by different staff members. Here are some examples of how medication errors could potentially occur:

  • A doctor may prescribe the wrong type of medication. So the patient may experience unwanted side effects. This could mean that the pre-existing condition is left untreated and begins to deteriorate further.
  • Or a doctor prescribes the wrong dosage of medication. If a patient receives a medication dosage that is too low, the patient’s medical condition may worsen. If the patient’s medication dosage is too frequent or too high, the patient could suffer a drug overdose.
  • A nurse administers the wrong medication causing an allergic reaction.
  • A carer gives the wrong medication, which causes an adverse drug interaction with medication the patient is already taking.

Duty Of Care In Caring For The Elderly

As we have mentioned, medical professionals, carers and other healthcare provider staff owe patients a duty of care. Below we look at the eligibility criteria for making a medication error claim. Not everyone that is given the incorrect medication will be eligible to proceed with a claim for compensation.

To claim compensation for a medication error, you will need to prove the following:

  • Firstly, that you were owed a duty of care.
  • Secondly, this duty of care was breached
  • Finally, the breach of duty caused a medication error that worsened your pre-existing condition, injured you or made you ill.

Moreover, you must begin your compensation claim within the limitation period. Under the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit is normally three years. There are several exceptions to this rule please call our team to see if you are within the limitation period.

How To Claim For Medication Errors In Elderly Care

You may wonder what to do if medication errors in elderly care have harmed you. Firstly always seek medical attention if you have taken the incorrect medication. Getting the correct treatment as early as you can is vital for your health. Moreover, your medical records can be used as supporting evidence if you make a claim.

It is also important to report what has happened at the place you think is responsible for the error. Or complain in writing to your healthcare provider so there is a record of the incident.

If you are pursuing a claim on behalf of a loved one or making your own claim, you can also collect information to support the claim, including:

  • Keep the packaging of the medication
  • Also if you can retain a copy of the prescription
  • The receipt for your medication.
  • Contact details of witnesses who could make a statement to support you.
  • Photographs of any visible injuries you suffered.
  • Request your medical records.

Finally, please reach out to a professional for free legal advice. Call Medical Negligence Assist’s helpline so an advisor can answer your questions and let you know if you or your loved one have legitimate grounds to claim compensation.

Potential Elderly Care Medication Error Settlements

If you win your claim for medication error injuries, you could receive up to two heads of claim. First, a general damages payment for the physical pain and suffering your injuries caused. Furthermore, special damages to cover the out-of-pocket expenses your injuries cost you.

You can use our compensation table to estimate what your claim could be worth. The table includes bracket amounts for general damage compensation. These are taken from the 16th edition 2022 guidelines from the Judicial College, which solicitors use.

Injury TypeSeriousness Of The InjuryBracket AmountsNotes
Brain InjuryModerate (c) (i)£150,110 to £219,070The injury impairs intellectual and sensory functions.
Brain InjuryModerate (c) (iii)£43,060 to £90,720Continuing issues with poor concentration and memory or disinhibition of mood.
Kidney InjurySerious (a)£169,400 to £210,400There has been serious and permanent injury to both kidneys or both kidneys may have been lost.
Kidney InjuryLoss of natural function (b)Up to £63,980An injury which leaves the person at serious risk of losing natural kidney function. They may also risk contracting a UTI in the future.
Bowel InjuryDouble Incontinence (a)Up to £184,200The injury leaves the person with double incontinence. There are also further medical complications.
Bowel InjuryLoss of function (b)Up to £150,110The person could be left having to use a colostomy bag.
Chest InjuryContinuing disability (c)£31,310 to £54,830The person now has some continuing disability as a result of the lung and chest damage.
Bladder InjuryLoss of function (b)Up to £140,660Natural bladder function and control has been lost.
Bladder InjuryImpairment of control
£63,980 to £79,930There is pain, discomfort and impairment of natural bladder function.

However, please note that these amounts are not guaranteed if you win your compensation claim. So, contact Medical Negligence Assist, and our team can value your compensation claim. We have not included special damages payments in the table.

No Win No Fee Claims Against Elderly Care Providers

If you are wanting to make an elderly care provider medication error claim, or you are claiming on behalf of a relative who is unable to claim for themselves, have you thought much about legal representation?

Medical Negligence Assist’s solicitors have solid experience helping claimants receive compensation after a healthcare worker let them down. So if you have suffered because of negligence Medical Negligence Assist could provide you with a No Win No Fee solicitor to handle your claim.

A No Win No Fee solicitor generally requires no fee upfront. You will pay a success fee on the condition that you win your claim. What’s more, the success fee is capped under The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013.

Please get in touch to see if you can claim:

Claim Guides Related To Medication Errors

You can learn more about claiming compensation for a medication error by reading these guides.

Pharmacy Wrong Medication Claims Guide

Types Of Prescription Errors You Could Claim For

Medication Errors In Hospitals – Could I Claim Compensation?

Medication Errors: Short Life Working Group Report – GOV.UK

Standards From The General Pharmaceutical Council

An NHS Guide To Poisoning.

Please call our helpline if you have any questions about claiming compensation for medication errors in elderly care.