Written by

Kathryn Sharkey - Senior Solicitor

In most care homes, the standard of care is high and residents are treated well by healthcare professionals. However, in some unfortunate cases, negligence can occur within care homes that leave residents in difficult positions.

If negligence does occur within a care home, it is important to know how to report this, whether you work in the home or you are concerned about a loved one potentially receiving negligent care. 

We have compiled some information on how you can go about making both informal and formal complaints about negligence

 

What Are Some Examples of Negligence in a Care Home? 

Some examples of care home negligence can include: 

  • Malnutrition or dehydration 
  • Poor hygiene or poor living conditions
  • Pressure sore/pressure ulcers that could have been avoided 
  • Warning signs of physical or mental abuse
  • Injuries caused by poor maintenance 
  • Injuries caused by incorrect assistance

 

This can vary from situation to situation, however, these are some forms of negligence that we have supported claims for in the past as no win no fee negligence lawyers. 

 

How Can I Raise A Complaint About Neglect In A Care Home? 

You can raise a complaint or report negligence directly to a care home as a first course of action if you are concerned about the level of care being received by a resident. If you need to escalate this further, you can also look into taking legal action and raising a case for compensation. 

All care home providers must have a complaints procedure explaining how to make a complaint. You can ask about the organisation’s complaints procedure as this may differ from care home to care home and you should be aware of what to expect when making a complaint. 

If you have noticed warning signs of neglect or are worried about a loved one being treated inadequately, you should firstly raise your concerns with the care home manager on an informal basis to allow them to address the situation and give them a chance to amend the issue where possible. The manager may be able to ease your concerns or provide an explanation for these warning signs. 

If this does not ease your concerns or you believe that the situation is more serious, you can write up a formal complaint to the manager or to the organisation itself. Similarly, if the care is funded by your local council, you can also issue a complaint to the council. You can find your local council here

In your formal complaint, UK disability charity, Scope, advises that you include the following information: 

  • Clear explanation of your complaint 
  • Specific dates and times when you were unhappy with the level of care
  • Staff names and job titles
  • Actions you have already taken to raise your complaint
  • How you want the complaint to be resolved and when you want this to be resolved

 

If you are unhappy with the response or you don’t feel that your complaint has been dealt with, you can escalate your complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

If you are self-funding the care, you will also be able to approach the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman. 

They will be able to investigate your complaint, however, it is important that you check what they can and cannot investigate. For example, they state that they can only investigate if you complain within 12 months of becoming aware of the matter. 

If you would like to complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, you can read through their guide on how to complain

You can also report negligent care to the Care Quality Commission. This will help them to protect others from going through similar situations by investigating that the care home is delivering the correct standards of care, however, they state that they cannot take forward complaints on your behalf. 

As outlined above, there are several actions you can take to put forward a complaint surrounding negligence in a care home from informal discussions to more formal reports. 

Below, we have summarised these actions so that you can decide what is best for your situation: 

  1. Raise an informal complaint with the care home manager.
  2. Raise a formal complaint with the care home manager or the organisation itself.
  3. Raise a formal complaint with the local council if the care provider is funded by the council.
  4. Report negligence to the Care Quality Commission so that they have information to help protect others.
  5. Raise a formal complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

If your loved one or a family member has experienced care home negligence, they may be entitled to compensation. There are many different forms that negligence can take and if you believe you may have an eligible case, please contact one of our care home negligence experts who can talk you through the eligibility of your case and what you can expect from the compensation process.

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