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Nurses struck off after shocking care home failings

The news that two nurses have been struck off after ‘shocking failings’ caused avoidable harm to residents at a Welsh care home is another reminder of the devastation that poor standards in care homes can cause (BBC).

As a solicitor specialising in medical negligence at JMW I am currently representing patients and families affected by this issue. It is clear that the poor care they have faced  has taken a huge physical and emotional toll. My cases concern poor care plans for residents with dementia and other vulnerabilities leading to pressure sores and other injuries.

My clients have endured horrendous physical injuries and emotional turmoil due to the total betrayal of the trust put in the professionals supposed to be caring for them.

Of course there are many good care homes and care home workers who strive to ensure that all of the vulnerable people for whom they are responsible are safe and well looked after. They do an excellent job at meeting the complex needs of the elderly residents they serve.

But with myriad private care homes across UK, ensuring they are all operating at an acceptable standard and stamping out poor care before it causes injury or death continues to be a huge challenge.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has the mammoth task of inspecting care homes and calling for improvements where needed. However despite this system, extremely serious incidents, such as the recently publicised Welsh case and those the team at JMW have dealt with, continue to happen.

In the Welsh case a manager and deputy manager of a care home in Abertillery were found by a disciplinary panel to have failed to have implemented proper care plans for residents, failed to ensure they had sufficient nutrition and pressure sores were treated. The families of the residents have been given some recourse after the nurses were struck off; however that came too late for one of the victims and her husband who both tragically died before the hearing.

It is not always possible for families to achieve a sense of justice being done and to fulfil their desire to protect other residents from the same fate. This is often what drives them to legal action, and with our help they can hold the care home to account for its failures and speak out about their ordeal if they so wish.  

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