We represented the son of a lady who died after developing pressure sore damage whilst living in a care home in Staffordshire.
The care home failed in numerous respects, including failing to move her regularly in order to prevent pressure sores from developing, failing to recognise the early signs of pressure sore damage and failing to monitor her fluid intake and allowing her to become dehydrated. She developed a grade 4 pressure sore, which became septic. She also developed a chest infection, from which she never recovered. She was admitted to hospital but sadly died a few days later.
We arranged representation for the family at the Inquest. Through our involvement, the failures by the care home came to light and the coroner included the pressure sore damage and sepsis as one of the causes of death.
During the Inquest, the barrister pressed the care home manager and a carer for answers regarding the pressure damage she suffered. It became apparent from the oral evidence that the care home manager and staff did not understand what to do to avoid pressure damage in the first place. They had inadequate systems and insufficient training.
We pursued a negligence claim against the care home on behalf of the Estate, undertaking extensive investigations.
We identified entries in the care records which were made after she was admitted to the hospital. These entries purported to show there was no pressure sore damage when she left the care home but that conflicted with the ambulance and A&E records. We had serious concerns that these entries had been added after the event in an attempt to cover up failures.
We made an early settlement proposal to the care home’s representative, which was rejected and we were forced to issue court proceedings. 20 months later, they accepted our settlement offer. We held firm in our assessment of what was a fair amount of compensation, which we were able to secure.
Our work identified extensive failures at the care home at that time, including system failures and a lack of understanding as to how pressure sores can be avoided in the first place. By bringing a compensation claim, these failures were brought to the attention of the Coroner’s Court, the insurer and solicitors. It is hoped this will prompt improvements in care which will protect other residents from suffering in the same way in the future.
I am so grateful to Ann Houghton and all her staff at ACS. Ann has been so caring and thoughtful throughout this process, it has been obvious that she had a genuine concern. I was so impressed by her determination to succeed in winning this case. Thank you ACS for everything.Mr DM
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