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Thousands of people in the UK depend on community care services provided by social services, the NHS, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and private community care providers to help them or their family members with their health and social care needs.
When it comes to community care, we all expect and deserve a high standard of care and support. This is never more important than when our loved ones are being cared for in a nursing home, care home, hospice or being given care at home. We have a right to expect they will be properly looked after, treated with kindness and respect, and will feel happy, comfortable, and safe there.
Fortunately, most people cared for in these settings receive an excellent standard of care. However, there are exceptions. Sadly, negligence or abuse can happen, and sometimes preventable mistakes are made that can lead to serious injuries, illnesses, psychological trauma, and in the worst cases, fatal injury.
If you or a family member has been harmed, you may want to know what went wrong and why and to know that lessons are learnt so it does not happen to someone else. Your loved one may also be entitled to make a compensation claim. If they have died, you may be able to make a compensation claim on your family’s behalf.
Whether you or a family member has suffered due to nursing home negligence, care home negligence, or negligence in a hospice or from a health or social care provider in your own home, our specialist team has the expertise to help.
Our expertise with community care negligence claims
We can help with a wide range of compensation claims where negligence has occurred in a community setting. Some examples include:
- Negligent medical treatment
- Failure to provide a suitable level of care
- Care home negligence
- Nursing home negligence
- Medication errors and over-prescription of medicines
- Falls and manual handling errors
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Care home acquired infections and pressure sores
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Fatal injury and inquests
Fatal injury after community care negligence
Novum Law’s expert lawyers are experienced in supporting families where death has occurred in community settings. We can support you from the very beginning – through serious untoward incident (SUI) investigations, root cause analysis investigations, complaints processes and inquests. We will help you get all the answers you need.
Expert legal advice when you need it
No matter how the community care system has let you and your family down, our specialist lawyers are here to help.
Novum Law community care negligence solicitors
Over the years, our solicitors have held NHS, social care services and private community care providers across England and Wales to account for medical treatment and care that falls below acceptable standards.
Acceptable standards includes providing person-centred care tailored to meet their needs and preferences, treating people with dignity and respect, ensuring consent is given before any care is given, prioritising safety, and safeguarding from abuse, among others. To find out more about standards of care, the Care Quality Commission has published the Fundamental Standards.
How making a community care negligence claim works
No Win No Fee community care negligence claims
Making a community care negligence claim with Novum Law is straightforward. You can claim on a No Win No Fee basis, which means you do not have to worry about legal costs during the claim process.
In the unlikely event that your claim is unsuccessful, you will have nothing to pay. Learn more about No Win No Fee.
Contact Novum Law today for a free initial consultation and find out if you can make a community care negligence claim
We offer a free initial consultation if you or a family member has experienced a severe or life-changing injury or illness due to community care services negligence.
Call us now on Freephone 0800 884 0777, email email@example.com or complete our online enquiry form for a free, ‘no strings attached’ chat. We will let you know if you have the grounds to make a community care negligence claim.
Investigating your community care negligence claim
Our expert solicitors will gather the evidence they need to build a strong case for you or your loved one.
We gather the documentary and witness evidence needed and work with leading independent medical experts and barristers to help prove your case.
Working out how much compensation you are owed for negligent community care services
The value of your community negligence claim is calculated using several factors, including:
- General damages – the severity of your injury or illness, pain and suffering, and the impact on your quality of life.
- Special damages – the financial cost including loss of earnings, medication and treatment expenses, rehabilitation and care costs, travel expenses to hospital appointments, house and vehicle adaptations, and any specialist equipment you need.
Find out more about how we calculate compensation.
Time limits for community care negligence claims
In most community care negligence cases, you have three years to make a compensation claim. The time limit for making a claim starts from the date your injury happened or your illness was diagnosed (or the date you first became aware that your injury or illness resulted from community care negligence).
There are some exceptions to the three-year time limit:
- If you are making a community care negligence claim on behalf of a child, you can start the claim at any time until they reach the age of 18. Once they are 18, they have until they are 21 to make a claim themselves.
- If you are claiming on behalf of someone who lacks the mental capacity to make and communicate their own decisions, there is no time limit.
- When a claim involves securing compensation under the Human Rights Act, you will have one year from the date of injury or death to pursue a claim (we will advise you if this applies in your situation).
Settling a community care negligence claim out of court
We can settle most negligence claims out of court. If your community care negligence case must go to court, our expert solicitors will support you throughout the process.
Taking your community care negligence claim to court
In the rare event that we do have to issue court proceedings (for example, because no settlement agreement is reached informally), you will be in safe hands. We will guide you through the process and ensure you understand what is happening each step of the way.
In many community care services negligence cases, the claims settle before the official court hearing date. For the small minority that does not, we will instruct a barrister to represent you at the final hearing and be with you to support you on the day.
Frequently Asked Questions about community care negligence claims
What are care home negligence claims?
Care homes have a duty of care to their residents to make sure they are well looked after and always feel safe and comfortable. Sadly, there are some care homes that do not provide the required standard of care and this can lead to the neglect of residents and result in serious injury, illness, and psychological trauma. If this happens, care home residents, or their family may be able to make a care home negligence claim for compensation.
What is neglect in a care home?
Care home neglect falls into four categories:
- Medical neglect
- Emotional or social neglect
- Basic needs neglect
- Personal hygiene neglect
There are many examples of care home negligence. For example: failing to administer medications when needed, wrongly administering medications, not reporting signs of illness or infection, failing to move or turn older residents who go on to develop pressure sores, mishandling residents (leading to injuries), failure to supervise residents (resulting in falls and accidents), failure to look after daily needs (e.g., washing, helping residents to go to the toilet, assisting with eating and drinking), and physical, sexual and psychological abuse (e.g. being slapped or kicked, shouted at, or being ignored).
What are the three most common complaints about nursing homes?
The three most common complaints about nursing homes are:
- Staffing issues – staff shortages and high workloads means that many care home residents feel their needs are not being met, and staff are slow to respond. Lack of adequate staff training can mean that preventable mistakes are made in the delivery of care and the standard of that care.
- Poor food quality – often, residents struggle because the food provided does not meet their dietary requirements, they are not given enough food or not helped to eat their food. In the worst case of nursing home neglect, it can result in residents becoming malnourished or dehydrated.
- Lack of social interaction – nursing home residents can become lonely and isolated if they are not given enough social stimulation. This can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
Can I sue social services for negligence?
If things go wrong with your social care or a family member’s social care, and there has been a serious injury or illness as a result, you may be able to take legal action and make a negligence claim against social services. If this happens, it is essential to get advice from a specialist solicitor who has experience of community care claims.