Care agency - URGENT legal issues

Yokel

LE
As many of you will know, my Mother suffered a major Stroke in September 2015 and is very disabled. See Recovery from Stroke.

At the moment there is a problem with the company that supplies carers. To cutr a long story short, they seem to have lost most of their staff, and seem to be trying to get rid of clients. One of the carers (not a regular one) manged to dislocated Mum's paralysed arm. Before then she had some movement in her left hand and the physio was working on it, but since then.

An X ray at the hospital confirmed the dislocation - but it was not worth the risk of operating. Mum wants to know if she can sue, how she would do that, and are there any time limits?

Obviously disability is stressful and depressing for her and for the rest of us.
 
Last edited:
I've found the Citizen's Advice Bureau to be excellent in times past.

Also, most High Street legal firms will do you a 20-30 minute consultation gratis. I'd avoid the 'Injury-Lawyers-4-U' end of the market like the plague, as they tend to be less-than-optimal, shall we say.
 

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
how can you prove it was the carer ? do you have video or a doctor present? sorry to be a pain but its going to be an uphill struggle .
back in my day the time limit was six full year without any attempt to sue . it might have change of course . seek a good lawyer
 

Yokel

LE
The $hit really has hit the fan. Since discharge Mum has had carers coming in fours times a day. Not a problem, until the last year of so when the management seemed to piss of more and more of their staff. They have offered Mum what they called 'rapids', but understandably Mum is not happy with the idea of recieving personal care from someone she has never met. It was a rapid that dislocated her arm. She suggested being introduced to them, but the company has said no.

The regular carers have become like friends, and as Mum is housebound are her main source of social interaction other than Dad, me, and my brother.

For the last month or so her usual 0900 visit has been moved to 1000. This no good for Mum, as it was mean not having breakfast until after 1100 - she has a hiatus hernia and cannot eat and then get moved and pulled around. The later time would also cause problems with the rare occasions when she has Physiotherapy. The morning visit is obviously the most important one as it is when she gets up, washes, and dresses for the day.

I finally got Dad to drop a line to RBL yesterday with a view to trying to get more physiotherapy with a to help her stand/walk at least semi independently and go places in a car.

This morning a letter arrived from the Care Agency's office. They have unilaterally pulled out (surely they want the work?) and as of Sunday afternoon, Mum will have no carers. They have let the council and Devon Carers (????) know, but there is no service in place. The care package was arranged and funded by the NHS and Social Services.

Can they do that - pull out of a contract with not even a week's notice?

The grapevine suggests this company has over extended itself, and has been messing clients around so they complain etc, and then binning them for being difficult.

I have not got a f***ing where to go or who to talk to. I have said we need to involve the local MP, the folks have tried contacting social services and CQC.

Anyone? @The Bench ?
 
Last edited:
Local MP is a good place to start, in the absence of any information from Local Authority. I don't know the solution to this problem but good luck wit it.
 
If the Local Authority are paying for a package of care and the company that they have contracted can no longer provide care. You need to take the issue up with them.

Archie
 
Please correct me if I’m wrong, but the main issues here are the dislocated arm and the removal of care.

1. The dislocated arm. You would seek a civil claim under the tort of negligence. You would have to show a court, on the balance of probabilities that a person (or company):
a). Owed a duty of care.
b). Breached that duty of care.
c). You suffered loss or injury as a result of the breach.

You need to collect evidence of the injury and that it was probably the carer that did it. If it’s your mum’s word against the carer as to the cause then this will be insufficient.

What do you have so far?

2. Provision of care: You need to find out what rights you have as a patient (for you, I mean your mum). The NHS will have a patients charter, what is the reason/authority for the care? Seek to invoke these rights.

The contract for care is between the NHS and the care provider, you are a third party and usually do not have any contractural rights, however, the Contracts Act (Rights of a third party) Act 1999 May allow you to enforce a contractural term.

I’m not a qualified solicitor and this is only very rudimentary advice, you need to seek a decent solicitor for help. You should also ask for an occupational therapist and social worker to get involved to assess your mums needs. Also see your GP.

Good luck.
 
Sorry it’s going badly but hopefully this will be the fail that sorts the fix. I suspect the only way ahead in the short term will be to call Devon Carers now and sort an immediate and short term fix. Then build a sustainable solution with them over the next few weeks. For sure you are not going to be the only people with this issue contacting Devon Carers so get on with it.

Ben Bradshaw may help if DC are messing around but again, I suspect they too are in crisis. See Dingerr’s post for the injury v civil legal side.
 

Yokel

LE
Mum's needs were assessed by an OT and a social worker. The problem is the company being unable to deliver. If we/Mum are being provided with a service on the basis of clinical need, then surely someone is responsible for sourcing it?

Ben Bradshaw is the Exeter MP, ours (I am still a local Yokel) is Peter Heaton Jones.

Mum and Dad have a meeting with someone from social services tomorrow morning, and I think this will be the main topic. Pulling out with less than a week's notice is pretty piss poor in my book.
 

Poppy

LE
may be worth contacting Age UK or Independent Age for advice.If a carer damaged your mother I would report to the police.

I feel for you - my mother had carers twice a day and the organisation was dreadful - I told them to call me if there was a problem - they didn't. They sometimes just didn't turn up. I reported one as she walked my mother naked down the landing to the bathroom (being in her 80s and frail she felt cold aside from the dignity issue) and showed no respect or compassion for her. She is now in a"luxury" care home which is excellent, she is really well looked after. Care homes vary hugely of course but persuading my dad to let her go was the best decision ever

I hope you find a resolution - you have to fight for everything in some circumstances and it's exhausting - good luck
 

Yokel

LE
I made a point of being present for the meeting. The agency have claimed Mum kept cancelling care visits, but it was when they had nobody to offer who she knew so suggested that a complete stranger could offer personal care, so Mum refused and it got counted as cancellation.

The move of the morning visit from 0900 to 1000 was was down to them too, so it recent weeks has ben cancelled most days. They also expected Mum to accept anyone (without an introduction) and to accept care visits from people who have caused her injury that required treatment

Arrrgh!
 
I made a point of being present for the meeting. The agency have claimed Mum kept cancelling care visits, but it was when they had nobody to offer who she knew so suggested that a complete stranger could offer personal care, so Mum refused and it got counted as cancellation.

The move of the morning visit from 0900 to 1000 was was down to them too, so it recent weeks has ben cancelled most days. They also expected Mum to accept anyone (without an introduction) and to accept care visits from people who have caused her injury that required treatment

Arrrgh!
Has a solution been suggested?
 

Yokel

LE
No, not really. The social services woman seem unsure as to whether they still have a duty to find a provider. She did mention there is direct payment scheme, but that would depend on us finding someone to do the care.
 
Direct payment is worth looking at. It effectively means that you (your Mum) are the customer holding the purse strings, so have absolute choice of provider and type of care within budget. Gives more commercial clout with the care companies. Downside is you have to find and select them.
 

Blogg

LE
The standards in the Healthcare industry are appallingly variable.

At one point simply sorting Mrs B's sister, now gone as result of complex health issues and a degenerative neurological condition, with social services, medical and care providers became a near full time job.

All had ran well for years and then fell to bits. Why? Because the local healthcare provider changed and new outfit were the kind of shits who scheduled 15 minute visits per hour for their zero hours minimum wage slaves but did not factor in amy travel time and had people on the books who could not drive or did not have access to cars.

Which is kind of an obvious non runner for a semi rural location. But they were cheap....

They got binned within months but took a year or so for anything resembling normality to resume.

Allied do seem to have a wee bit of a problem:

Care provider 'lost control' of staff

Execs. instructing local managers not to inform their Council clients that they have an obvious problem bodes very badly
 
Firstly - This is just a reflection on Care of the Elderly in the UK - well at least England,

The Care agency (Company) are usually profit making although I cannot see it a rolling in gold. Central Government have screwed down the local government budget who in turn have screwed down the Care Agency.

The carer coming into to your mothers home, will be on minimum wage (with minimal training in what they are supposed to be doing) have a quite large volume of people to see in a short period of time and possibly don`t get paid travelling between clients.

A cancelled visit probably means that the agency will not get paid

With regards to timing of visits, I expect most clients want a visit at the same time so not everyone is going to be happy (When my father was receiving care he wanted the carer to be there after the News at Ten or not at all)

Secondly to the injury - my view is that due to existing fragility it would be difficult to sue the carer (care agency) with elderly dislocations are quite common and could have happened at another time a not been noticed

Archie
 

Yokel

LE
What gets me the the total lack of warning or discussion, and the short notice. After all this is a vital service for a very vulnerable person Even the social services person seemed to think that they might not still have a duty to find another provider.
 

Latest Threads

Top