Care Home Agrees to Pay Compensation to Elderly Woman's Family

Southern Cross Healthcare, which operates 730 care homes across the UK, has admitted liability in a case involving the negligent treatment of an elderly woman. Whilst a resident of Oakland care home in Rochdale, 82-year-old Betty Delaney experienced considerable physical suffering. Although exhibiting symptoms of mental deterioration, Mrs Delaney also appeared to be in agony when relatives visited her bedside. But Oakland care home staff members claimed that the apparent physical discomfort was a result of the elderly woman’s mental condition. In October 2008, Mrs Delaney was transferred to hospital, where nurses were shocked to discover that 82-year-old was suffering from advanced bed sores in four locations, including her back, left groin and heels.

Two of the bed sores were assessed as stage four, which suggests long-term development. It seems that Mrs Delaney could have been suffering from the bed sores for months. Personal injury claims involving care home patients are not uncommon in the UK, with most such accident claims relating to isolated incidents, rather than instances of neglect. Mrs Delaney died earlier this year as a result of an unrelated health condition, but her family has welcomed Southern Cross Healthcare’s admission of liability and promise of compensation. Mrs Delaney’s son, Stephen Blakesley, said: “Every time we saw her she was crying. She spent the last few months at Oakland in obvious misery.”

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