According to parliament reports 10 million people in the UK are over 65 years old, estimates are that in 20 years time that figure will increase by 5.5 million and by 2050 the figure is estimated to be 19 million. With an ageing population it is paramount that the care system and health services in place look after the elderly with the respect and care they deserve. Unfortunately this does not appear to be the case and the number of elderly person negligence cases seems to be on the rise with more and more shocking stories coming to light.
Stafford Hospital has recently been in the limelight after a report showed them to be responsible for around 1,200 deaths through appealing conditions. Among the list of victims a number were over 65, patients left without food and water or worse, food and water in the room but out of reach as the patients had little mobility. Elderly patients were ignored by nurses and felt too ashamed to call for help, often many ended up left lying in faeces and urine. Patients were left to develop bedsores and some became dehydrated through neglect. Some elderly patients will not have many family or friends who will visit and therefore are really vulnerable and entirely at the mercy at nurses who are often overworked and stressed.
A recent survey by King’s Fund health think-tank found that around 830,000 older people who require care receive no formal support. This means that some of the most vulnerable people in society are left without support and they then get to a stage where emergency medical help is needed but the overworked NHS cannot deal with the growing number of cases and sadly people then get neglected.
Elderly victims of medical negligence should not be left hopeless. They can win back some control of the situation by claiming compensation for medical neglect. Families who have lost elderly relatives through medical malpractice should also consider claiming compensation, losing a loved one is hard but knowing that their death could have been prevented makes grieving and moving forward even harder. There are many qualified medical malpractice solicitors and a number run a no win no fee policy for those who cannot afford to pay high legal bills.