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Specialist accommodation can change lives for those living with cerebral palsy
Eddie Jones, head of medical negligence at JMW Solicitors
Children living with cerebral palsy have a range of specialist care requirements that can significantly affect their needs in terms of providing safe and practical living accommodation.
Their requirements can vary depending on the severity of their cerebral palsy, a movement disorder caused by oxygen deprivation to the brain, and how the condition has manifested itself, but frequently every part of day-to-day living is affected.
Simple tasks such as bathing, getting in and out of bed and moving around the house can be a constant struggle in accommodation that is not suitable for the needs of someone with cerebral palsy. Physical disabilities can range from mild to severe, creating the need for mobility aids such as wheelchairs and walking frames that make moving around an average-sized house difficult and potentially dangerous
Meanwhile, children with cerebral palsy frequently need daily specialist care so when looking at their housing requirements that issue also needs to be considered. Therapies and physiotherapy may be essential to ensure they can enjoy a good quality of life despite their disabilities and on-going health problems. With that in mind, specialist rooms and facilities such as a hydrotherapy pool may be recommended by experts.
When cerebral palsy has been caused by the negligence of healthcare professionals then specialist solicitors, such as those at JMW, can fight on behalf of families for compensation to cover the cost of the child’s accommodation needs. Having access to the right accommodation can literally change the lives of whole families as the child’s significant care needs are supported and parents know that their son or daughter is as comfortable as they can be.
JMW case study – boy left severe cerebral palsy due to poor hospital care - £5 million
My client Graham was catastrophically brain damaged after a hospital doctor who examined him failed to realise he was seriously unwell after he was born. Graham did not receive the treatment he urgently needed because of the doctor’s error, which was made despite clear warning signs that he was in danger.
Graham, now 12, was left with severe physical and mental disabilities and will be dependent on others for the rest of his life. He is confined to a wheelchair and needs 24-hour care and regular therapy to address some of the physical pain he suffers due to his injuries.
As such one of the first priorities for Graham’s parents, and the medical experts involved in his case, was to ensure he had appropriate accommodation. After I successfully obtained Graham an interim payment of compensation his parents were able to purchase him a large bungalow that was adapted to his needs, enabling him to manoeuvre it easily in his electric wheelchair.
The bathrooms and bedrooms were also adapted to enable his parents and carers to get him in and out of the bath or bed safely and securely. They were also able to put in place a sensory room that helps Graham to be mentally stimulated by the lights and sounds and a hydrotherapy room that helps ease the pain he suffers from his physical disabilities. In addition the bungalow has a good size pool that allows F to exercise safely with the help of his carers and is another source of therapy for his physical problems.
After previously being crammed into a house that was completely unsuitable for a disabled person, Graham’s s family truly feels that having the right accommodation has changed all of their lives, but particularly Graham’s. While life will always be very difficult for him and his health will never improve, he is receiving the care he needs to be comfortable and his family is equipped with the essentials they need to provide this for him.