Unfortunately the poor treatment of elderly patients in NHS hospitals is something that happens far too regularly. The Daily Mail has found that 10% of NHS hospitals and 15% of care homes fail to treat elderly patients with adequate dignity, respect and care. The Care Quality Commission has found that many doctors and nurses view patients as tasks to be completed, rather than people.
Sir David Nicholson, chairman of the new NHS Commissioning Board, has said that hospitals are ‘very bad places’ for millions of older people. He has said that many elderly patients, especially those with dementia, would be better off being treated in their homes. Robert Francis QC, who chaired the inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal, has recently stated that a culture of poor patient care is akin to cancer – it won’t stop spreading until someone stops it.
Poor staffing levels have been identified as one reason for low standards of patient care. Others have also blamed poor management and a lack of kindness and compassion as reasons for poor levels of care and treatment. David Cameron has duly made improving NHS patient care one of his main priorities in 2013. The Prime Minister has said that he wants ‘every hospital to give every patient the best possible care’. NHS hospital staff should indeed look beyond a patient’s age and treat all patients with the same standards of care and respect.
If you or a loved one has received substandard treatment at the hands of medical professionals then you may be able to claim medical negligence compensation. No win no fee solicitors at Bolt Burdon Kemp have particular expertise successfully claiming compensation in cases concerning elderly person negligence. They have experience acting in cases involving pressure sores and ulcers, slips, trips and falls in hospitals, weight loss and malnutrition and delayed diagnosis cases.
If you have received substandard treatment in a medical setting then it is only right that you are able to obtain justice. Moreover, by alerting the healthcare provider to the problem you may be able to prevent substandard treatment or low levels of care from occurring again in the future. Compensation can also cover the costs of rehabilitation, any loss of earnings and any financial losses which have accrued as a result of the injury or mistake.