Whorlton Hall, a specialist, high dependency hospital for patients with special needs has recently been closed down and several of its workers have been arrested following allegations of serious abuse and neglect. Following undercover filming by BBC Panorama, the staff have been exposed taunting, provoking and restraining vulnerable patients.
The footage is shocking and difficult to watch and it will most certainly have been devastating to the families of the patients concerned. They trusted the staff to care for and look after their loved ones and instead it seems they have only added to their difficulties.
This makes us think about those within our own families who have a need for specialist care whether it be a specialist hospital such as Whorlton Hall, a residential unit, a care home or even a hospital. The decision to place a loved one in any such unit is a difficult one. How do we know our loved ones will receive the help we, as their family, cannot provide? How do we know they will be properly cared for? And what do we do if something does happen to them during their time there?
There are countless issues that can arise as a result of treatment provided by medical practitioners, most of which fall under the law of clinical negligence. But we should always be mindful of the issues that can arise as a result of poor training, neglect, lack of supervision and resources and downright bad practice. These issues include malnourishment and dehydration, failure to administer medication, bruising, bed sores and even fearfulness.
There are many good care homes where loved ones are looked after extremely well however, if you suspect or spot any signs of mistreatment then it is crucial to report it to management as soon as possible. There may well be a valid reason for what has or hasn't been done. However, if the explanation is poor or if the issues continue, then it might be time to speak to get legal advice on taking action on behalf of your loved one.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for advice should you or a loved one have suffered from any of these issues and we will be more than happy to assist.