Vulnerable man suffers stroke after carers fail to visit

5 Aug 2021 | Stephanie Prior

Grandfather who almost dies after ‘negligent’ care receives £900,000 settlement

A grandfather who had a stroke and almost died when carers failed to visit him and prompt him to take medicine on 142 separate occasions has secured £900,000 in compensation.

The vulnerable 63-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, should have been visited two or three times a day by carers to get him to take stroke-prevention drug Dabigatran.

But staff from Ashley Care LLP in Southend, Essex, failed to turn up 142 times, including 45 full days, over a 12-week period – meaning he did not take his potentially lifesaving drug. The company failed to visit in the four days prior to his stroke.

The man, who is now 69 and was left paralysed down his right side, cannot speak and whose life expectancy has been reduced as a result of the stroke, was represented by medical negligence lawyer, Stephanie Prior.

The grandfather, who was granted anonymity by the courts as he does not have mental capacity as a result of the stroke, was supposed to be visited regularly by carers from Ashley Care LLP as he suffered from depression, anxiety and had other mental health issues.

His daughter said: “We were told that he had a 1% chance of survival so it’s a miracle he is still here, but he should never have been put in this position. If the carers had just done their job and bothered to turn up he would still be able to walk and talk. The care he received was negligent.

We don’t know how long he was lying there, as the carers hadn’t been in for four days, which undoubtedly made the outcome substantially worse.”

The man was supposed to be receiving care visits three times a day from Ashely Care from March 25, 2015, and two times a day from April 10, 2015. He made his distress call to his niece on June 14 and was transferred to an acute stroke ward at Southend General Hospital.

His daughter added: “My dad was on anti-coagulants so it was crucial that he took his medicine. Because of his mental health issues we had a care plan in place so that he was prompted by carers to take his medication. Part of the plan for his recovery was that as a family we would not be going around all of the time to bother him so the carers could encourage him to look after himself. As a result the entire family were completely unaware that the carers hadn’t been fulfilling their duties.

“My dad collapsed but managed to call his niece and just said ‘help’ down the phone. They found him on the floor, covered in faeces and unable to speak.

“It’s so upsetting to know that those who were supposed to be helping him recover and making his life better, couldn’t even be bothered to turn up a lot of the time. We were outraged and angry when this happened but to be honest we are now more sad that he has been left like this.

“It’s tragic as now my children don’t have a grandad who they can play with fully. He’s my best friend and would have been so good with them, but that has been taken away from us.

“I would urge people who need carers for their loved ones to make sure that they are actually doing their jobs as I wouldn’t want anybody else going through what we have been through. Care companies need to make sure their staff carry out visits as otherwise they are putting people’s lives at risk. Their families should have peace of mind that their loved ones are being cared for properly. My dad’s carers stole my peace of mind and now I find it difficult to trust anybody looking after my dad.”

Stephanie Prior, Head of Clinical Negligence at by London law firm Osbornes Law, said: “My client is lucky to be alive but has had his life devastated by the negligent care of those who were supposed to be looking after him and prompting him to take his medication. This tragic case is a stark warning to care providers to ensure that they attend all client visits as planned as they have the lives of those they care for in their hands.”

If you have been the victim of negligent care and would like to discuss your potential case, please call the medical negligence team on 0207 485 8811 or complete an online enquiry form.

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