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The Personal Injury Claims Team in Scotland represented a gentleman who was injured when he was a resident in a care home in Stirling.
Our client had a history of slips and there were nineteen separate incident reports made about slips the client had between December 2005 and October 2007. Given the fact that there was a previous history of slips, two risk assessments were carried out to prevent the risk of further slips or falls when the gentleman was being moved. The care needs of this man had been assessed on several occasions. This resulted in a care support plan being produced and this report recommended that the gentleman be tended by two members of staff.
On 9th March 2008 the gentleman fell from a bath lift and was injured. At the time of the accident he was under the care of only one social care worker. Following bathing, the care worker raised the client from the bath into a bath chair. Whilst drying him, the arms of the bath chair were swivelled behind and did not give him secure support. As a result of this the gentleman fell from the chair onto the floor and suffered a fractured femur.
Irwin Mitchell’s Personal Injury Team in Glasgow proceeded with a claim on the basis that the decision to carry out the bathing procedure in a chair with the arms out of use and with the assistance and supervision of one care worker only, constituted a breach of the specific care plan.
This created a reasonably foreseeable risk that the gentleman may slip or fall if two members of staff were not present. Our position was that the failure of the care home and their employees to adhere to the care plan in circumstances which made the client particularly vulnerable constituted a breach of their duty of care.
Irwin Mitchell assisted the client to secure compensation of £5,750.
Elaine Russell, Partner of the Personal Injury Team in Glasgow said "It is the duty of care homes and their staff to take care of residents. In this case a care report plainly stated how this care was to be given. Despite the existence of this report the care plan was not followed. This was unacceptable and negligent and resulted in this gentleman being injured. Lessons need to be learned from this and it is the duty of every care home to ensure that correct procedures are adhered to."
The son of the gentleman dealt with the claim on behalf of his father and said:
"In my opinion my father's injury was the direct result of negligence by the Stirling care home he resided in, an opinion supported by the Care Commission's report that upheld my complaint in the following areas, Communication – other, General health and welfare, Record keeping - personal plans/ agreements, Staff - training / qualifications and Staff – levels. Sadly the Care Commission appeared to have failed to spot these issues during previous annual visits which begs the question, are they effective or permitted to be effective?”
“My father passed away some three months after the incident, never having left hospital. This led to the feeling of a grave sense of injustice and to me contacting various legal organisations for advice. Irwin Mitchell presented me with a professional and sympathetic team, who, whilst giving me guidance through the legal process, also helped me keep my emotions in check by enabling me to understand the processes and parameters we had to work within. To be fair they took the strain, both in the legal process and with dealing with my emotive side. Their professional approach led to a timely and appropriate conclusion, without causing me any undue distress. A truly supportive team at a time when I needed it most, something worth its weight in gold when you are dealing with such an emotional situation.”
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