You want only the very best care for your loved ones in their later life, so the idea that they may have suffered from negligence in their care home can be upsetting.
If you suspect your loved one has been mistreated or neglected while in a care home, help is available. Should you want to take legal action, there are experts available through First4Lawyers who can look to see if you have a claim.
Before going ahead, there are a few things you can do. On this page, we’ve outlined in detail the steps you can take if you’re concerned a loved one is being neglected in their care home. Approaching a complaint of this nature requires serious care and consideration, but the basic steps are:
- Have an informal chat with the care home manager
- Approach the Care Quality Commission
- File for medical negligence with a legal team
What are the signs of neglect?
Some of the key signs of neglect can include bed sores, malnourishment, over or under medication, or signs that your loved one has not been kept clean and generally well.
As you know your loved one better than anyone else, you should listen to your instincts if you feel something isn’t quite right.
Speak to the care home manager
Sometimes, the best approach is an informal one. Speaking to the manager of the care home should be your first step as they may be able to provide a very reasonable explanation for your loved one’s situation.
A professional care home manager should do everything in their power to resolve the situation if they believe that mistreatment has occurred. Tell them your concerns and you may find the negligence is resolved quickly and professionally.
Keep notes and records of all your conversations, along with evidence of any potential negligence that has taken place. If the manager fails to resolve the situation, you can use this as evidence to escalate the report.
Approach the Care Quality Commission
The Care Quality Commission oversees the care given at nursing homes, and it has a responsibility to resolve situations such as medical negligence.
In the same way you may choose to file an official complaint with the NHS for any other service, you can send a letter of complaint to the Care Quality Commission. To better understand how to write a letter of complaint, please visit our guide about How to file a complaint against the NHS.
Seek legal advice
Your loved one should not suffer at the hands of those who are there to care for them. If the care home has failed to resolve the situation or take responsibility for the medical negligence, you are able to file a legal claim.
Depending on the mental state of your loved one, you may be able to do this on their behalf if they are not able to understand the situation. If they are capable, they may need to file the complaint themselves, with you acting as proxy if necessary.
To file a legal complaint, contact a solicitor to determine if you have the necessary foundation for a complaint. They will look over the records and notes you have taken, and may want to interview the person who you feel has been neglected.
From this point, the solicitor will treat the complaint as they would any negligence case. They will guide you every step of the way, and give you the personalised advice you need to resolve the case as quickly and effectively as possible.
If you feel it’s time to approach a solicitor, you can open a claim with First4Lawyers for advice you can trust. Request a free, no obligation callback today, and you can learn if your case qualifies for a No Win No Fee medical negligence claim.