CARE HOME CLAIMS
Many residents in a care home are paying for care when they should not be as this should be funded for them.
We can assist with a claim for repayment, this can be back dated and can be made even if the person in the care home is sadly now deceased.
We have flexible ways of managing the cost of the claim. We can act no win no fee by which we take a fixed sum from any repayment we secure for you so you do not pay us anything if we are not successful in getting a repayment for you or if you prefer we can act on the basis by which you agree to pay to us a pre-set fixed fee so in either case you therefore have certainty.
Care Home Fees - What should you be paying?
The Care Home System is complex and making arrangements to fund the payment of the long term care in a residential or care home can be bewildering and confusing with various sources of funding available from the NHS and Local Authorities as well as entitlement to State benefits including Attendance Allowance and Pension Credits.
The choice of whether to go into a care home or to pay for care to be provided in your own home and the question of how that care is to be funded is one that can affect the whole family. It is therefore very important that everyone is aware of their legal rights and the funding options available to them.
Local Authority Funding and the Family Home
If you are not eligible for fully funded NHS Continuing Care then your Local Authority will carry out a means test to see whether you need to contribute to the cost of your care.
You will have to pay for your care if you have Capital assets of more than £23,250.
This often poses a problem for people who own their own homes as the value of the property can be taken into account as a Capital asset. You may find you are told that you need to sell your home in order to pay for your fees.
It is important to understand however that the Local Authority cannot force you to sell your home and there may be other options open to you. In some cases, the value of the family home can be disregarded.
Again you should always take legal advice before taking steps to put a property on the market and again we are able to offer a variety of funding options to assist you and your family.
Payment of Care Home Fees by the NHS
Many people who are resident in a Care Home are paying fees that should be met by the NHS.
Help is also available from the NHS for people who are being nursed at home.
If you have significant health care needs then you can apply for fully funded NHS Continuing Care and if you qualify, then your care fees will be paid in full without any means test, whatever your financial circumstances.
You can apply for a review of your care needs at any time if your health deteriorates after you go into a home and there is a right of appeal against any refusal by the NHS to provide fully-funded care.
You can ask for a refund of fees if your case has been overlooked or if you have been wrongly assessed.
This applies even where a resident has died and claims can be backdated for several years.
Average care home fees are in the region of £500- £700 per week so refunds can be substantial and our advice is that it is always worth checking whether or not you have a valid claim for NHS Continuing Healthcare.
We can do this for you and offer a variety of funding options by which we can help you or your family including no win no fee.
How much time do I have to make a Medical Negligence claim?
If you believe you have a medical negligence care home claim, it’s important that you seek advice from a solicitor who specialises in care home and nursing home claims as soon as possible, as there are time limits in place in England, Scotland and Wales.
Generally, a care home or nursing home claim should be made within three years from the date the negligence occurred or the date you were first aware that you had suffered a significant injury or illness due to negligence. However, there are exceptions.
To read more about the time limits of making a claim, please read our Medical Negligence Claims Guide.
How much does it cost to make a Care Home Negligence claim?
The majority of our care home negligence claims are funded by a conditional fee agreement, otherwise known as a No Win No Fee agreement.
This means if you lose your case, you won’t have to pay any fees and therefore, there’s no financial risk to you. For further information, about No Win No Fee agreements, read our medical negligence fees page.
What are Medical Negligence Care Home Claims?
When your elderly or vulnerable loved ones reside in a care home (also referred to as a nursing home), you rightly expect a certain level of care and protection of their health and safety.
In the majority, those who reside in care homes get an excellent service of care. However, there are exceptions when failings by the care homes and their staff result in poor medical treatment and care which can lead to loved ones becoming ill or injured. When this happens, you may be entitled to compensation for care home negligence.
How much can I claim for Medical Negligence which has occurred in a Care Home?
Naturally, every medical negligence case is different, and the final amount of compensation awarded will be based on the severity of the injury and the affect the injury has had on your life.
Additionally, you’ll also be able to claim for any financial losses you’ve incurred as well as the cost of additional care, rehabilitation or treatment that’s required.
Who is most responsible for Care Home Neglect?
In most cases, the care home provider will be responsible for any negligence that happens in the home. They are required to ensure that residents are treated well and kept as safe and healthy as possible.
When they fail in this duty, they then become responsible for any harm that comes to your loved one. You can then make a medical negligence compensation claim against the provider.
There may also be cases when an individual care home staff member has treated your loved one negligently or abused them. You may then be able to make a claim against them.
Why should I make a Care Home claim?
You entrusted the health and care of your loved one to a care home that has proved itself to be negligent. They failed in their duty of care to keep their residents healthy and well. But you have legal rights to address this.
Making a compensation claim could help you secure your loved one’s future by helping you pay for medical treatment, finding them somewhere new to live and covering any other related expenses.
Don’t forget that by making a claim, you raise awareness of what has gone wrong in the care home. This can be particularly important if the provider doesn’t know what has been happening.
By making a claim, you can help the care home provider sort out the issues that led to the negligence. This can stop it happening to any other residents.
What are the most common causes and types of medical negligence in Care Homes?
There are different scenarios which can lead to a care home injury, for example:
Pressure Ulcers and Pressure Sores
Pressure sores or ulcers can develop under different circumstances, such as:
A patient’s skin is in contact with the bed for a long period of time
A plaster is put on incorrectly after a fracture
Pressure sores can be painful and take a long time to heal, and some don’t heal at all. This kind of sore can lead to infection and they may restrict the patient’s ability to walk or move.
Medication and Prescription Errors
Administering the wrong medication
Failing to keep meticulous and up-to-date records of the patient's medical history
Failing to give accurate instructions
Misdiagnosis which leads to failure in prescribing the correct medication
Medication and prescription errors can lead to serious and even life-threatening conditions, and at the very least make an elderly person very ill rather than helping them to recover.
Injuries and Fractures from Falls and Handling Errors
Care home residents may be vulnerable to injuries from falls if:
They’re not provided with appropriate mobility aids
They’re not adequately supervised
They’re handled by staff carelessly
There are occasions when a fall in a care home hasn’t been caused by negligence but some accidents are avoidable with proper care.
Injuries from Neglect and Abuse
In other cases, the families of care home residents are horrified to discover that an injury has been caused by abuse or deliberate neglect.
Abuse from Staff
If you are being prevented from seeing your loved one for suspicious reasons or they appear to have bruises or cuts when you do see them, they could be experiencing abuse.
Failure to provide Food and Water
Your loved one may end up underweight and suffering from malnutrition or dehydration if they don’t get enough proper food to eat and water to drink.
In the above circumstances, you need a legal expert on your side to help prove that the injury was caused by deliberate abuse, and not by the person’s age or an unavoidable accident.
Who do we Help?
Our Comprehensive Care Home Service
At McKeag & Co we offer friendly and comprehensive advice concerning all aspects of care home funding and our specialist team will help you claim what you are entitled to and obtain any refund of care home fees that may be due to you.
We can take away the stress and worry of having to deal with numerous agencies and government departments and help you to obtain a funding package that meets your individual needs.