Medical Negligence
By Conal McGarrity
Latest News

Negligence in Care Homes

When our loved one lives in a care home, we trust that our family members will be looked after well and often provided with around the clock care. More often than not, those who reside in care homes receive excellent care. However, there are instances where the failings of a care home may result in poor medical treatment, poor overall care and on more rare occasions, may be subjected to abuse by the care home staff which leads to injuries and illnesses. 

When this happens, you are likely to go through a roller coaster of emotions, including wanting answers and an apology from the responsible party.

Unfortunately, there is a wide range of situations where negligence can take place;

  • Medication and prescription errors such as administrating the wrong medication or the wrong dosage

  • Failure to adequately feed a family member

  • Injuries from falls and handling errors such as careless handling or failure to provide mobility aids

  • Allowing for family member to develop bed sores (pressure sores)

  • Injuries from neglect and abuse

  • Failure to provide adequate hygiene care

  • Failure to recognise signs and symptoms of illnesses

The above are only some examples where negligence can take place. If you suspect your loved one has been subjected to negligence in a care home due to poor care provided by staff at the home, you may be entitled to make a care home claim.

Scandal of Covid-19 Outbreak in Care Homes

So far, 16,000 residents of care and nursing homes in the UK have died compared with fewer than 3,000 in Germany and none in Hong Kong. In Northern Ireland, people residing in care homes have accounted for more than half of Covid-19 related deaths. Whilst it was reported that support to fight Covid-19 outbreaks had always been available, the Department of Health heavily disagreed with this statement.

Eddy Kerr of the Hutchinson Care Homes group said they struggled to source personal protection equipment (PPE), maintain safe staffing levels and in turn protect care home residents. Mr Kerr, operations manager for seven facilities in all, told BBC News NI that he felt no-one in authority was responding to their pleas for help at the start of the pandemic.

As of 12th May 2020 Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) reported 232 confirmed Covid-19 deaths in care homes across Northern Ireland – which accounted for 45% of all coronavirus-linked deaths.

Whilst the number of mortalities has begun to decrease, residents from certain care homes across NI have been relocated following inspection from the RQIA after concerns were expressed in poor handling of the Covid-19 outbreak.

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