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Oakwood Solicitors
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Care Home Claims:
General Neglect

Have you received negligent care?

  • Decades of combined experience
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  • No-obligation consultation and claim assessment
  • Support and advice whenever you need it

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Decades of combined experience

in Medical Negligence litigation.

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Caring and empathic

team members dealing with your claim throughout.

The experts in Medical Negligence

Oakwood Solicitors Ltd’s specialist Medical Negligence department has an in-house team of Solicitors and legal professionals dedicated solely to this area of law. With decades of combined experience, we are dedicated in assisting clients who have suffered physically, mentally and financially as a result of negligent medical treatment.

Our specialist team pursues an array of medical negligence claims ranging from Prescription errors and misdiagnosis, to complex birthing injury and spinal claims and everything else in between.

How does care home neglect happen?

The decision to move an elderly or vulnerable loved one into a care or nursing home is a difficult decision, and is usually made so that they can receive the adequate care and assistance that they require.

Before your loved one becomes a resident, either for respite care or permanent residence, a care plan is drafted to adequately assess their needs. This includes, but is not limited to – eating habits, hygiene needs and what level of assistance is required on a daily basis.

Sadly in some cases, this care plan is not adhered to resulting in the neglect of a loved one which drastically reduces their quality of life, causes additional health issues and in the worst cases premature death.

What types of neglect may occur?

Here are some examples of neglect that could have a significant impact upon the health an wellbeing of a resident:

 

Malnutrition – Residents who may already be suffering with poor health can decline drastically if they are not provided with the correct nutrition. This can be caused by food being placed outside of the residents reach, not assisting during meals if required, food being removed without being touched or a failure to keep adequate records. This can cause:

  • Significant weight loss that delays recovery and can ultimately result in acquiring new illnesses;
  • Fatigue/weakened muscles that limit a residents mobility and cause further issues;
  • Declining mental health.

Poor personal hygiene – Some residents may only require assistance with certain tasks, whilst other residents may require more extensive care with almost every aspect of their personal hygiene. This can cause:

  • Poor oral hygiene resulting in damage and/or loss of teeth that would have been avoidable;
  • Increase of infections which causes delayed recovery or spread of infections to other residents, this could develop into more severe conditions such as sepsis if the resident has open wounds.
  • Increased risk of injury to themselves, this could be cuts and abrasion from long finger/toe nails or a resident suffering a fall when attempting to clean themselves without the required assistance.

Stool, fluid and diet charts not being completed – This could cause problems with monitoring and highlighting other underlying conditions that require further treatment such as:

  • Failing to complete stool charts which could highlight problems with the bowel, in more severe cases not identifying and treating constipation leading to impacted bowels, possible perforation and aspirational pneumonia.
  • Failing to complete fluid charts which could highlight developing dehydration, renal or urinary issues. It could also result in a higher risk of developing pressure ulcers if the resident is immobile for long periods of the day.
  • Failing to complete diet charts, this links back to possible malnutrition discussed above.

If you, or a loved one, have suffered neglect at the hands of a care/nursing home, you may be eligible to make a medical negligence claim.

How do I make a claim?

If you feel that your diagnosis has been delayed, you have been misdiagnosed or that your treatment has been inappropriate then you may be entitled to bring about a claim.

The team at Oakwood Solicitors will be able to give you free advice on the prospects of your case and whether you would be eligible to make a claim.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can bring about a claim?

The victim of the negligence can bring about a claim in their own right. However, it is often sadly the case that the victim is either unable to bring about a claim or has sadly passed.

In such circumstances a claim can be brought about on their behalf either by an appropriate person, litigation friend if the victim is still with us, or by the executor of the estate of surviving dependant if the victim has passed.

Our specialist team will be able to discuss whether you have a right to bring about a claim so if you or a loved one has been affected, do not hesitate to contact us.

How long do I have to claim?

Claims of this nature are subject to a three year limitation period. This means that claims have to be commenced within the Courts in three years of rather the date the negligent act occurred, or the date you became aware that negligence had occurred.

In cases involving deceased victims this limitation period commences from the date of death and in cases involving minors, the limitation period starts when they reach their 18th Birthday.

The law surrounding limitation periods is complex. Our specialist team will be able to advise further.

How long will my case take to run?

Given the complexities involved in pursuing Clinical Negligence claims, they can often take 18-24 months to conclude and longer if Court proceedings have to be issued.

Our investigations start by obtaining all relevant records and protocols before approaching independent medical experts for their opinion. We will provide you with regular updated on the progress of your case to ensure that you are kept up to speed.

How much is my claim worth?

It is often difficult to value clinical negligence claims at their outset given the complexities involved. However, we will pursue two forms of compensation for you:

  • General damages – This is an award of money for the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of the negligence.
  • Special damages – An award of money for all of your out of pocket expenses such as travel expenses, medication costs, loss of earnings, treatment costs both past and future. This list is not exhaustive and is very case specific.

How is my case funded?

The majority of Clinical Negligence cases are funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement, more commonly known as a “no win no fee” agreement. This means that there will be nothing to pay up front and nothing to pay if the claim has been lost.

If you are successful in your claim a deduction of 25% of damages will be taken to cover the success fee and the shortfall in legal fees.

It may also be the case that an After The Event (ATE) insurance policy will be obtained to cover the costs of expensive medical reports and investigations. If an ATE insurance policy has to be obtained the cost of the same will be discussed with you at the appropriate point.

The cost of the ATE insurance policy is again taken from your damages and only payable if you are successful with your claim.

Why use Oakwood Solicitors to make your Clinical Negligence case?

We have a dedicated team of solicitors and paralegals who have many years’ experience between them in running cases of this nature. They are highly trained to deal with all aspects of clinical negligence.

We want to ensure at Oakwood Solicitors that clients are not overwhelmed by legal jargon, medical terms that they don’t understand and to allow the claims procedure to be as transparent as possible.

What do I do now?

If you believe or feel you have a claim, contact us for a free initial consultation regarding your options:

1
carol cook
Carol Cook — Head of Department

Carol Cook joined Oakwood Solicitors in May 2017 to lead the Medical Negligence department. She handles a wide range of Clinical and Dental Negligence claims and has a specialist interest in Birth Injuries.

Carol has years of experience in handling complex clinical and Dental Negligence claims securing substantial amounts of damages for her clients. Carol studied her law degree (LLB honours) at Salford University.

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