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Accidents in Care Homes: Your right to make a claim

If you or your loved one has been seriously injured in a care home then you may be able to make a personal injury compensation claim.

With the average life expectancy increasing in the UK, the need for care homes and care staff will continue to rise. With this ageing population comes the risk of more accidents occurring in care settings, both for service users and care home staff.

For care home residents, their vulnerability and reliance on care make it imperative that they are protected. For care staff, the demanding nature of their work means they are often at risk of injury, and having access to compensation is vital for their recovery and financial security. 

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in a residential home or care setting, then you may be able to make a claim for compensation for the pain and suffering caused.

Our member firms at Major Trauma Group have many years of experience in dealing with personal injury cases surrounding serious and traumatic injuries, including accidents and/or negligence that takes place in a care home. Please get in touch with us today to find out more.

Common accidents in care homes

Accidents in care homes can have severe consequences for both service users and care staff, impacting their health, well-being, and quality of life. Whether it’s a resident who has suffered a fall or a staff member injured due to workplace hazards, understanding the process of claiming compensation is crucial.

Common accidents for service users

  • Falls: Slips, trips, and falls are the most frequent accidents in care homes. They can occur due to slippery floors, poor lighting, uneven surfaces, or lack of mobility aids. The consequences can range from minor bruises to severe injuries like fractures or head trauma.
  • Medication Errors: Incorrect dosages, administering the wrong medication, or missed doses can lead to adverse health effects. This can happen due to staff negligence or communication errors.
  • Burns and Scalds: Accidents involving hot water or food, heating appliances, or exposure to the sun without adequate protection can cause severe burns and scalds.
  • Choking: Residents with swallowing difficulties are at risk of choking, especially if they are not given appropriate food or are not supervised while eating.
  • Infections: Poor hygiene practices, inadequate infection control measures, or contaminated equipment can lead to infections such as serious respiratory infections, or gastrointestinal illnesses.
  • Physical Assaults: Unfortunately, incidents of abuse or violence, either from other residents or staff, can occur, leading to physical and psychological harm.
  • Accidents During Transfers: Injuries can happen during the transfer of residents from bed to wheelchair or while moving them to different areas within the care home if proper techniques and equipment are not used.

Nursing homes are bound by law to implement rigorous safety protocols and ensure that staff are well-trained to minimise these risks and provide a safe living environment for all residents.

Common accidents for care workers

  • Musculoskeletal Injuries: Lifting or moving residents without proper equipment or technique can cause severe back injuries.
  • Slips, Trips, and Falls: Wet floors, cluttered walkways, poor lighting, or uneven surfaces can cause care workers to slip, trip, or fall, leading to injuries such as fractures or head injuries.
  • Needlestick Injuries: Handling needles and other sharp instruments without adequate safety measures can result in needlestick injuries, increasing the risk of bloodborne infections.
  • Infections: Exposure to infectious diseases from residents, especially during outbreaks of illnesses, can lead to infections among care workers. Inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) or poor hygiene practices can exacerbate this risk.
  • Violence and Aggression: Physical assaults or aggressive behaviour from residents, especially those with cognitive impairments or mental health conditions, can result in injuries and serious trauma.
  • Chemical Exposures: Using cleaning agents or other chemicals without proper protective equipment can cause skin irritation, respiratory issues, or more severe health problems.
  • Falls from Heights: Working on ladders or step stools without proper safety measures can lead to falls, resulting in serious injuries.
  • Manual Handling Injuries: Improper techniques or lack of lifting aids when moving heavy objects or assisting residents can lead to a range of painful injuries.

Duty of care for all

The duty of care in care homes is a fundamental legal and ethical obligation that applies to both residents and staff. This duty involves ensuring the safety, well-being, and dignity of all individuals within the care home environment, including visitors. Additionally, care homes are regulated and inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which was established in 2009 to oversee all health and social care providers in England.

Duty of Care for Residents

Care homes have a legal duty of care to ensure their residents are protected from harm. This includes:

  • Providing a safe living environment: This involves maintaining the care home in good repair, minimising slip and fall hazards, and ensuring proper fire safety measures are in place.
  • Delivering competent care: Care staff should be adequately trained and experienced to meet the individual needs of each resident. This includes proper handling techniques to prevent injuries during transfers and assistance with daily living activities.
  • Promoting resident well-being: Care plans should be individualised and address not just physical needs but also mental and emotional well-being. This includes providing a dignified and respectful environment.
  • Safeguarding residents from abuse and neglect: Care staff are mandated to report any suspected abuse or neglect to ensure the safety of residents.

Duty of Care for Staff

The duty of care extends to the staff as well. Care homes have a responsibility to:

  • Provide a safe work environment: This includes implementing safe lifting practices, ensuring proper equipment is available, carrying out regular risk assessments, and maintaining a clean and slip-free work area.
  • Offer adequate training: Staff should be trained in manual handling techniques, infection control, de-escalation for managing aggressive residents, and recognising signs of potential injuries.
  • Promote staff well-being: Care work can be physically and emotionally demanding. Care homes should provide support mechanisms to address stress and burnout, such as offering flexible working hours or access to counselling services.
  • Provide adequate PPE: Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, aprons, and sharps containers should be readily available to minimise the risk of injuries and infections.
Accidents in care homes can have severe consequences for both service users and care staff, impacting their health, well-being, and quality of life.
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Suffering an accident at work

Working in a care home is a rewarding yet challenging profession, and the risk of injury is high. Experiencing an accident or incident at work in a care home can be a distressing event with potential physical, emotional, and financial repercussions.

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a legal responsibility to ensure a safe and comfortable working environment for all, and must reduce the risk of accidents occurring.

If you have suffered an accident whilst working in a care home, then you must seek appropriate medical attention and report it to your employer as soon as possible. Your employer has a duty to report certain incidents to the Health and Safety Executive.

If your accident was due to employer negligence or unsafe working conditions, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. This can cover lost wages, and other related costs.

It is important to remember that you cannot be penalised for making a compensation claim against your employer.

Why choose Major Trauma Group?

Our member firms consist of highly reputable law firms across England and Wales, all of whom are experts in the area of personal injury claims. We are dedicated to securing the best financial outcomes for our clients alongside expert rehabilitation treatments.

We may offer our services on a no win no fee basis, meaning you do not need to worry about the costs associated with making a claim.

Low value claims

Please be aware that Major Trauma Group only assist people who have suffered serious or life changing injuries.  In respect of minor injury claims, Government reforms to Personal Injury Claims over many years has meant that it is not always cost effective to instruct lawyers to assist. It is the Government’s belief that people should be able to complete forms online themselves or with help eg from Victim Support Groups or your local Citizens Advice. Please be aware that time limits for pursuing cases still apply.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team to find out how we can assist you regarding an accident in a care home, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today. You can contact us on 0330 311 2578 or email us at hello@majortraumagroup.co.uk.

Struggling after injury?
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Struggling after injury?
See how Major Trauma Group can help...

Who are the serious injury solicitors of Major Trauma Group, and how can they help me?

Who are the serious injury solicitors of Major Trauma Group, and how can they help me?

Serious injury? Get in touch to see if you can make a compensation claim

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