Penningtons Manches’ clinical negligence team has settled a claim against Four Seasons Healthcare on behalf of the estate of an elderly resident of Osbourne Court Care Home in Baldock, Hertfordshire. The lady suffered from dementia and had been a resident at the home since January 2007. 

Her niece had complained to the management of the care home on numerous occasions about the care that was being provided to her aunt but saw no improvement. During her visits, she frequently found her to be unwashed, smelling of urine, left unattended and having not received her oral care. Her aunt was eventually admitted to hospital in May 2014 where she was diagnosed with severe dehydration and received IV fluids. 

Investigations resulted in her aunt being placed under the care of Social Services as a protected person under the Vulnerable Adults Act. A Safeguarding Adults Case Conference took place in June 2014, which accepted the allegations and concluded that the lady should not return to Osbourne Court. She was therefore allowed to stay in an alternative care home, where she received one to one care up until her death in 2015. 

A claim was made and settled at an early stage following a full admission of liability. 

Penningtons Manches associate Rebecca Morgan, who represented the claimant, comments: “This is a very sad case where the failure to care appropriately for the lady concerned caused her to suffer unnecessarily with an oral fungal infection, poor hygiene and severe dehydration, resulting in her admission to hospital. She was already very ill with dementia and this brought unnecessary distress in the final year of her life. My client is, however, grateful for the sensible approach taken by the defendant and hopes that as a result of this claim the quality of care provided to residents of Osbourne Court will improve. She intends to purchase a memorial to her aunt with the damages that have been awarded.”