Start your claim

February 22nd 2017

Care Home Abuse

Elderly resident suffered serious burns at care home after fall against uncovered radiator

Elderly resident suffered serious burns at care home after fall against uncovered radiator

Hudgell Solicitors is supporting the family of an elderly woman who had to undergo a four hour operation after suffering second degree burns on a care home radiator.

Hudgell Solicitors is supporting the family of an elderly woman who had to undergo a four hour operation after suffering second degree burns on a care home radiator.

Kathleen Waters, 80, who suffered from dementia, was found slumped against the uncovered radiator in her bathroom in the home.

She required treatment at three hospitals in London, including Chelsea and Westminster Hospital specialist burns unit, over a two-month period before she was well enough to be discharged to a new home.

The Manor House care home in Morden, south London, was recently ordered to pay £24,600 in fines and costs after a case was brought against it by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for failing in its duty to provide safe care and treatment.

Its owners admitted failing to provide safe care and treatment resulting in avoidable harm to Mrs Waters.

They are now facing a civil claim for neglect as Mrs Waters’ daughter, Amanda Drinkall, instructed legal action through Hudgell Solicitors.

Legal claim highlights failings in care as cause of accident

In an accident and incident investigation report carried out by a senior manager or supervisor at the home, it was stated that ‘management failure to provide proper guards or covers to the radiator’ were the cause of the accident, and that the uncovered radiator had not been considered ‘high risk’ before the incident.

A legal claim served on the home owners alleges a number of other failings which meant staff were not alerted to Mrs Waters’ fall, and left her unable to call for help.

Mrs Waters’ admission record to Manor House stated that she was “high risk” and had a “high dependency level of care”.

A sensor mat was identified as being needed to alert medical staff when she got out of bed, with a call bell also required. These wKathleen Watersere to be checked to ensure they were in working order every night, and every time she was in her bedroom.

The admission records also stated that a security check must be carried out at least hourly every night.

However, a Health and Safety review after the accident revealed the sensor mat was ‘nowhere to be found in her bedroom’ and that ‘no one knows who removed it’.

The call bell cord provided in her bedroom toilet was also not long enough for Mrs Waters to reach from the floor, and as she had Aphasia, a condition that affects the brain and leads to problems with speech, she could not call for help.

Family launched care home compensation claim to prevent future incidents                       

Daughter Amanda Drinkall, 44, a student podiatrist from Mitcham in Surrey, said: “We chose Manor House because it seemed to be the best. It was home from home – a nice, safe environment with really friendly and caring staff. That’s what you want for your mum.

“It has been a nightmare though and I feel completely let down and disappointed that this was allowed to happen to my mum. You put your trust in these professionals and people who are supposed to put checks in place to make sure your loved ones are safe. I thought my mum was safe.

“I want justice for my mum and lessons have to be learned. I don’t want anyone else to go through what my mum and my family have been through.”

As part of the civil claim, it was alleged the sensor mat was unreasonably removed from Mrs Waters’ room, that staff failed to provide a carer to help her, failed to recognise the exposed radiator as a health and safety risk and failed to note a floor mat in the bathroom as a tripping hazard.

In addition, it was alleged the home failed to provide a help cord long enough to reach the floor, and that there was a delay in performing a security check round that morning due to Mrs Waters’ carer being late.

The home also faces an allegation of failure to call an ambulance within a reasonable time after Mrs Waters was found.

Patient needed surgery, suffered scars and deterioration in health

As a result, it is claimed unnecessary surgery had to take place on November 23, 2015. Mrs Waters was left scarred, endured pain and suffering, developed a pressure sore after her operation, and suffered further deterioration in her physical and mental health, as well as psychological trauma.

Mrs Waters, who was widowed 23 years ago, was transferred to a new home when she left hospital, but died in May of a heart attack.

Mrs Drinkall said: “By the end she’d gone through a lot of pain and I sat with her for about three days. She was crying constantly. She’d had enough and didn’t want to be there. The care home she was moved to was lovely and she was very well looked after, but she’d given up because it was all too much for her to deal with.

“She was mobile before the accident, but she didn’t want to stand or walk afterwards, and the pressure sore was painful for her. I believe she’d had enough after the accident. She was depressed. It was horrific. No one wants to see their mum go through that.”

Solicitor says shortfalls in care provision were ‘unforgiveable’

Solicitor Sue Jackson, of Hudgell Solicitors, is representing the family, and said: “Mrs Waters was badly let down by the care home through a string of care failings. Firstly, a radiator with the capacity to cause such injuries should not have been in her bathroom uncovered, and serious questions have to be asked as to why this was not identified as an injury risk before the accident.

“Carers were then unaware Mrs Waters was out of bed and not on hand to assist her because the required sensor mat was not present. Had this been there her carers would have been alerted to her movements and been able to assist her, either preventing her fall or coming to her aid quickly and preventing such serious burns being suffered.

“Finally, had the call cord been of an appropriate length, she would have been able to call for assistance, again something which could have resulted in help being much speedier and less serious injuries being suffered.

“The home was aware that Mrs Waters regularly fell and had seizures, with conditions affecting her speech, mobility and ability to look after herself, so to know this and still have these shortfalls in care is unforgivable.

“Sadly, she went through a horrific experience and suffered burns that were easily avoidable through simple steps. We know the legal case cannot turn back the clock, but we certainly hope that valuable lessons are learned to avoid any future suffering for future residents at this home.

“At present the defendants have indicated to us a willingness to pay damages, but as yet we’ve not had a formal admission of liability, although of course there has been a recent admission of failing to provide safe care and treatment in the Magistrates’ Court.”

What Our Clients Say

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Brillant service"

Brillant service , from start to finish definitely recommend hudgells solicitors all the hard work is done for you wouldn’t hesitate to use them again or recommend them

LeannFebruary 21, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Hudgell Solicitors have given me…"

Hudgell Solicitors have given me outstanding service and support through a difficult time. They have assisted me in claiming compensation which they made the journey of getting it as easy as possible.

KatieFebruary 14, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Couldn't be easier"

Couldn't be easier. From the initial call the whole process was handled smoothly and effortlessly.

Kevin RobertFebruary 14, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Amazing !!"

I felt relaxed through the whole process, i was made to feel confident in winning my case which i would like to add i did 😁 .. the company kept me informed all the way through by emails aswell as telephone calls, i would highly recomend to everyone needing expert…

LesleyFebruary 11, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Really happy with the service I had…"

Really happy with the service I had from Hudgells & Alex was great!

Natalie PayneFebruary 10, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Claim resolved quickly and efficiently"

The lawyer was quick to respond and always kept me updated on progress. Everything was resolved efficiently. I would certainly recommend them to family and friends.

Lulu BFebruary 04, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"There when ever I needed to ask a…"

There when ever I needed to ask a question, very informative, brilliant job definitely use them again if I needed too

KatieFebruary 03, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Thank you Sarah Kidd"

Sarah Kidd was fantastic she give me the best advice always keeping me up to date with everything that was going on

Christopher DixonJanuary 31, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"It took over 3 years to resolve my case…"

It took over 3 years to resolve my case and Hudgell supported me throughout with great sensitivity and professionalism. My caseworker, Gemma, always kept me updated and was easily reached if l had questions to ask. Can wholeheartedly recommend Hudgell.

Robert WebsterJanuary 31, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Every time I phoned my call was…"

Every time I phoned my call was answered in a polite manner and I got answers to my questions.

KhalidJanuary 30, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Anthony and his team at Hudgell…"

Anthony and his team at Hudgell solicitors are extremely professional and caring People. From the first phone conversation right through to completion i was always kept updated, if i had any concerns and contacted them, they were always happy to listen and put my mind at rest. I would highly…

Mrs lisa martinJanuary 21, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent service"

Great service . Made me feel at ease . Proffesional and very quick to respond to any questions or concerns I would highly reccomend

LesleyJanuary 21, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent service"

Excellent service

JensonJanuary 21, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent service"

Excellent service, Alex Garven was most helpful in dealing with my claim. Many thanks for his hard work in getting a result for me,. It took quite a while but during that time I received regular progress updates and a quick response if I had any queries .

Jill ElliottJanuary 15, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Lauren Dale"

Lauren Dale was so sensitive when dealing with my mums claim and she totally understood what i really wanted from the outcome. she kept me fully informed of everything, as and when it happened. I cannot thank her enough for her help and understanding on such a sensitive case. 5…

Jane from North YorkshieJanuary 11, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent Service"

Excellent, professional and friendly solicitors. It was a very simple process and they kept in constant contact to update me on any developments. Would definitely recommend.

Philippa January 09, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Could not have been simpler or easier"

Could not have been simpler or easier, they did everything required and more. Nice, pleasant to talk to, they do all the leg work, put everything into context and resolve as quick as possible. Hopefully will not have to use again but if a situation arises then would not hesitate…

DarrenJanuary 08, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Very helpful and always kept in touch…"

Very helpful and always kept in touch via email through the while process. Highly recommended

Joseph Conrad Waudby January 07, 2020

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Brilliant customer service"

Brilliant customer service, always will contact you as they say they will. Have been very helpful with my case and explained the process thoroughly, very easy to understand. Would definitely recommend.

Julia MatildaJanuary 07, 2020