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Nursing Home Neglect Solicitors - Compensation Claims UK


Nursing home residents and the elderly are amongst our most vulnerable citizens. Whilst the vast majority of nursing homes in the United Kingdom are reputable establishments staffed by caring, properly trained employees, cases of elder abuse and nursing home neglect do occur. Critical errors and omissions, neglect and abuse can leave the victim with physical and emotional injuries. Victims of elder abuse and nursing home neglect deserve full and fair compensation for their injuries and losses.

Our solicitors and nursing experts specialise in personal injury claims based on nursing home neglect or elder abuse. You will receive top quality legal representation from an experienced nursing home neglect solicitor who is a member of the Law Society panel of personal injury experts. Whilst an award of damages by a court of law cannot negate the suffering experienced by a victim of nursing home neglect or elder abuse, it can help the victim feel a restored sense of dignity and the financial award can make life a little more comfortable in the future.

Solicitors Legal Advice

Our elder abuse solicitors provide representation on a no win no fee** basis. Under the no win no fee* scheme our solicitors only get paid if they succeed in obtaining compensation on your behalf. You do not have to fund or finance your claim in any respect. We operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. In the unlikely event that the case is lost we simply write off out time and expenses. Complete the contact form on this page or use the helpline for free legal advice from a nursing home neglect solicitor. One of our specialist personal injury solicitors will call you to discuss your case and will give advice on your chances of success and an estimate of the value of your claim. Speaking to one of our solicitors does not obligate you to proceed with your claim. There is no charge for the consultation, even if you decide not to take any further action.

National Health Service Protocols

The majority of residential care in the UK is funded by the National Health Service. In order to receive NHS funds, a nursing home must abide by certain regulations. These regulations, which govern the care, treatment and evaluation of nursing home residents, are intended to ensure the highest quality of life for the residents. One of the most important protocols that NHS-supported homes must comply with is a set number of nursing hours that must be provided in order to match the declared level of care. When bringing a personal injury claim on behalf of a resident, a nursing home neglect solicitor will review these care level records. If the care provided does not meet the NHS minimum requirement, then there are strong grounds for claiming that the resident received inadequate care. It may provide critical evidence for a successful claim of nursing home neglect.

Adequate Qualified Staff

An insufficient number of qualified staff members on duty is often at the root of elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes. One of the first things a nursing home neglect solicitor will investigate is whether there was adequate staff available to ensure that each resident was receiving adequate care and attention. Parliament has received reports alleging that thousands of elderly people in the UK are living in nursing homes that lack sufficient staff for providing quality care. These reports further allege that a very large percentage of nursing home residents are malnourished or dehydrated because no one helps them eat and drink regularly.

Contractual Obligations

Nursing homes are bound by contractual obligations to their residents. Nursing home neglect solicitors will review the obligations set forth in the contract between the resident and the nursing home to see if the nursing home is fulfilling these obligations. The advertising copy that induced the resident to enter into the contractual relationship is also important. A nursing home neglect solicitor will also consider the obligations and duties that were either implied or expressed in that advertisement. The standard contractual obligations related to nursing home care include :-

  • room and board
  • a safe living environment
  • sufficient assistance with performing the activities of daily life
  • the provision of skilled nursing services
  • access to competent medical care

Notes, Assessments & Care Plans

When the resident is admitted, a full nursing assessment should be conducted. All medical conditions existing at the time of admission should be noted. Likewise, both a fall risk assessment and a skin integrity assessment should be conducted with the results being properly documented. If the patient is found to be at risk of falling or developing pressure sores, a proposed action plan should be included in the record. Any follow-up procedures taken with regard to this action plan should be recorded. The nursing home's failure to follow their own stated policy may help a solicitor prove negligence. Nursing progress notes contained in the patient's record may serve to indicate lapses in the chronology of events.

Errors, Incidents & Injuries

    Errors of Commission

    An error of commission is an action that deviates from the accepted standards and practices. Errors of commission include:-

    • physical, mental or sexual abuse
    • administering a harmful treatment or drug
    • denying treatment or medication
    • overfilling the stomach through use of a feeding tube
    • improper invasive treatments
    • negligently transporting or transferring the resident

    Errors of Omission

    An error of omission is the failure to provide adequate services and treatment. Errors of omission include failing to:-

    • provide adequate nutrition and maintain a record
    • provide adequate hydration and maintain a record
    • make a full nursing assessment and implement a proper care plan based upon that assessment
    • make risk assessments and implement a risk prevention plan
    • report changes or possible changes in the resident's physical and/or mental condition
    • follow safety protocols
    • practice pressure sore prevention
    • wear appropriate attire and wash hands between contact with different patients

    Common Incidents

    These are the most common incidents leading to serious injury in a nursing home:-

    • physical, sexual or mental abuse
    • falling
    • wandering
    • depression
    • anxiety
    • pressure sores
    • blood clots, particularly in the legs
    • malnutrition
    • dehydration
    • aspiration
    • overfilling of the stomach through use of a feeding tube

    Common Injuries

    Below are common injuries to which the elderly are particularly vulnerable:-

    • bone fractures
    • pneumonia
    • pressure sores with infection and dead skin tissue
    • head trauma with brain hemorrhage
    • pleurisy
    • pulmonary embolism

Bed Sores & Skin Integrity Documentation

Bed sores are also referred to as pressure ulcers or pressure sores and their formation may be grounds for a nursing home neglect solicitor to take legal action. When detected early, bedsores can be treated and completely healed. If left untreated, however, pressure sores can actually become life-threatening. To help facilitate early detection of bedsores, nursing homes utilise the Braden scale, a six-factor diagnostic tool for predicting pressure sores. Any time a resident develops a bed sore, a Braden form should be filled out. A nursing home neglect solicitor will investigate whether the resident's pressure sore is consistent with the documented information. The solicitor will also enquire as to whether there is a position record that indicates the amount of time the resident spent in each position.

Fall Risk Assessment & Bone Fractures

Osteoporosis, a condition which weakens the bones, is common in elderly people. Frail bones combined with slowed reflexes and decreased mobility puts the elderly at a high risk of seriously injuring themselves in a fall. To help prevent falls and fractures, a nursing home should conduct ongoing risk assessments of their patients to identify the presence of risk factors such as impaired vision, balance problems, difficulty walking, osteoporosis, multiple medications and whether the resident has a history of falls. If the injury compensation claim is based on a fracture suffered because of a fall, a nursing home neglect solicitor will determine whether the documented fall risk assessment score is consistent with the resident's actual physical condition. If the resident's risking of falling was underestimated, it could serve as evidence of negligence on the part of the nursing home. The fall risk assessment records also provide the solicitor with evidence of what steps could and should have been taken in order to prevent the fall.

Doctors Orders & Medication Administration

A physician is generally involved in the treatment of sick or otherwise frail residents. The physician's records can be a critical source of information for a nursing home neglect solicitor. The solicitor will examine the records to find answers to these questions:-

    Doctors Instruction Record

    • were verbal orders validated in writing and countersigned?
    • what were the relevant orders and were they properly conveyed?
    • did the doctor order cultures prior to administering antibiotics?
    • was a valid order given for each nursing action performed that requires an order?

    Medical Administration Record

    • were all medications administered in accordance with the directions?
    • were proper dosages administered?
    • were any doses unaccounted for or missing?
    • were all controlled substances properly managed and accounted for?

Vulnerable Adults

A vulnerable adult is one who requires care services because of advanced age, illness, mental disability or physical disability. Vulnerable adults may be unable to provide proper care for themselves or defend themselves against mistreatment. An elder abuse solicitor may be able to take legal action if a vulnerable adult suffers physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or financial harm as a result of an intentional or negligent act. The following are examples of behaviours upon which a legal claim may be based:-

  • Physical Abuse – causing physical pain or bodily injury through the use of force. Physical abuse includes the inappropriate use of physical restraints, drugs and force-feeding as well as sexual abuse (defined as non-consensual sexual contact with the elderly person).
  • Mental Abuse – inflicting mental pain, anguish or distress through insults, verbal assaults, threats, humiliation, intimidation, harassment and/or forced isolation.
  • Neglect – failing to fulfill care-giving responsibilities, contractual obligations or duties; neglect includes failing to provide water, food, shelter, clothing, medication, personal hygiene and a safe living environment.
  • Isolation – isolating the adult from contact with other people by means such as physical restraint, false imprisonment and refusing to allow the adult to receive visitors and phone calls.
  • Abandonment – deserting a vulnerable adult after you have assumed responsibility for providing care for that adult.
  • Financial Abuse – illegally or improperly using the funds, assets or property of the vulnerable adult.
  • Abduction – removing the adult, without their consent, from their current place of residence and preventing them from returning.


*Legal Information

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here