It is a guiding principle of the National Health Service that services reflect the needs and preferences of patients, their families and their carers. Unfortunately in these times of austerity the needs of patients and their carers are often overlooked.
Most people would prefer to be cared for at home rather than in residential care. The elderly or disabled may need special facilities and support from the local authority to help them live at home. Often family members are carers and this can place huge pressure on them. Often carers are elderly themselves. The role of a carer can be extremely demanding, both physically and emotionally and sometimes carers become unwell themselves because of the pressure.
Carers can often feel excluded from decisions made about their loved one’s medical treatment, despite being well placed to provide valuable guidance in those decisions. At other times, carers have felt that their own standard of care is criticised by health care professionals, leading to unnecessary interventions into their private lives. At their most serious, these can amount to the carer experiencing inhuman and degrading treatment. Often carers feel let down by the authorities, and have to share an unfair proportion of the burden of care in order to ensure their loved one does not suffer.
As on of the leading law firms in the UK for human rights challenges (Chambers 2014). Hodge Jones & Allen have an outstanding record of securing compensation, apologies, admissions of wrongdoing, as well as policy changes for our clients.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 changed the legal landscape in relation to the provision of healthcare, with Clinical Commissioning Groups responsible for the vast majority of NHS services. However, they are still required to abide by the Human Rights Act 1998.
If the authorities have failed to protect the rights of those being cared for or the rights of carers we can pursue a claim to secure compensation. If an unfair decision has been made, for instance if vital help is being refused or taken away, we can help you bring a legal challenge to prevent this. Another example is where carers are not provided with sufficient respite. A lack of respite can result in the care-giving role becoming overly burdensome on the carer. An individual’s right to a private and family life extends to include all aspects of that person’s physical and psychological integrity.
We have experience of bringing claims of this type, for instance, one of our clients was a full time carer for her severely autistic teenage son. Because of his condition his behaviour became increasingly violent and she had to involve the police on a number of occasions. Despite repeated warnings that she was in danger from her GP and social worker the Child Social Services safeguarding team failed to place him in residential care. Instead it considered other options such as fostering and in doing so ignored our client’s evidence that this was not suitable. Finally, our client was seriously assaulted by her son and it was only then that he was placed in residential care where he is now. She successfully brought a claim against child social services.
You may also have a claim for personal injury or medical negligence in which case, we work seamlessly with our claims lawyers in these departments to provide a comprehensive level of service for your case.
We believe it is vital that wronged parties in these cases come forward and seek redress. Hodge Jones & Allen has a proud record of defending the rights of those who are vulnerable. If you or someone close to you has been badly let down in their care-giving role, we will help you fight for justice every step of the way.
Our carer claims specialists are part of our London based human rights in healthcare team. We have almost four decades of experience helping clients from around the UK with a wide variety of legal matters. For expert legal advice use our contact form or call us on 0808 250 6017 today.