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JMW representing families devastated by care home neglect

As a solicitor specialising in medical negligence at JMW I am currently representing the families of elderly people who have suffered some quite appalling treatment at residential care homes.

I am sure they have read this morning's news about the secret filming that has exposed shocking failures at two of England's care homes with anger and frustration.

The BBC reports that the filming at the Old Deanery care home in Essex shows cries for assistance from a terminally ill patient who needed to go to the toilet being ignored and a bed-ridden resident being left in his own excrement.

According to the article one staff member had been sacked and seven suspended from the home, one of England's largest. While this will be welcomed by the families of the relatives concerned they will no doubt question why it takes such drastic action to expose the harrowing treatment.

Another clip filmed at Oban House care home in Croydon reportedly shows great-grandmother Yvonne Grant begging to be taken to the toilet for up to two-and-half hours (Daily Mail). This time the filming was done by Yvonne's concerned granddaughter Vanessa Evans. Tragically Yvonne died less than a month after the distressing scenes were filmed.

The families I am representing had elderly relatives who were neglected in care homes and suffered appalling pressure sores as a result. Elderly people with poor mobility who are confined to a chair or bed for most of the day are at significant risk of pressure sores however they can be prevented if adequate basic care is provided.

However as this morning's news reports show it is often the most basic of care that is lacking, denying vulnerable residents the most fundamental human rights that the rest of us take for granted.

One of the most difficult things for my clients to come to terms with is the breach of trust on the part of the care homes that were supposed to be looking after their loved one. The decision to put an elderly relative into a care home is not taken lightly so after being reassured that they are in safe hands it is extremely distressing when injury is caused at the care home's hands.

As a solicitor I am helping them to take legal action against the homes so they can try to achieve some justice. However no amount of financial compensation can ever make up for the harrowing ordeal they and their loved one have been through.

The filming will be shown on a Panorama documentary "Behind Closed Doors: Elderly Care Exposed on BBC One at 9pm tonight.


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