News & Events
Importance of Reliable Care Emphasised in Paralysed York Man’s Case
- Posted by: curtislegalwp
- Category: pressure sores
The crucial importance of care workers when it comes to supporting paralysed people, including the prevention of pressure sores, was emphasised in a recent case in York. A man who had been paralysed from the neck downwards and was reliant on regular assistance from care workers found that a private care firm that he had been using suddenly left him without the support he needed.
Graham Knight spends most of his days in a wheelchair, as he is practically tetraplegic. He fell off York’s City Walls 8 years ago and seriously injured his spinal cord in the neck region. He still has very limited use of his arms and hands, but is otherwise basically paralysed from the neck downwards. He prefers to live as independently as he can at home in a suburb of York, but that does mean being reliant on care workers visiting him from time to time. They help him get up in the morning, make his tea, take him out shopping and have social contact and, crucially, move him in his bed at night so he doesn’t develop pressure sores.
Pressure sores, sometimes also called bed sores, are ulcers that can develop when a person lies prone in the same position for long periods without moving. It is a problem for older people who have limited movement or, as in the case of Graham Knight, people who are paralysed in a major way. Tetraplegics have either no control or very limited control of their arms, so are unable to move their bodies by themselves when in bed.
Mr. Knight is using 2 or 3 different care agencies to provide care workers to come and see him several times a day. He uses a council provided care worker to move him in his bed at 5 a.m. every morning so that he doesn’t develop pressure sores. He also has someone who gets him out of bed and into his wheelchair later in the morning, another who helps him have tea in the afternoon and another who takes him to the shops on a regular basis.
Mr. Knight said that the private agency that had been supplying him with some of the support he needed suddenly contacted him saying that they were withdrawing support, even though he had a contract with them which stipulated that they had to provide a month’s notice if they wished to terminate the service. The care agency, Independent Home Living, was contacted by a local newspaper which carried the story, but it did not respond to queries about Mr. Knight’s case.
Fortunately, Mr. Knight was able to get some of the support he needed from another care agency at short notice and the loss in care service did not affect his need to prevent pressure sores, which was still provided by a council worker. However, his case does highlight the fact that many people rely on a level of service that must be provided if the health of that person is to be maintained. If Mr. Knight was unable to communicate effectively, it is easy to imagine that his situation could be far worse.
If you, or a loved one, are being cared for by either a council run department or private agency and are being adversely affected by negligence, whether you are developing pressure sores or are seriously affected by some other aspect of your mental or physical health, you may be able to take legal action against the negligent party. Contact one of our personal injury attorneys at Curtis Legal to discuss your circumstances and the possibility of taking legal action.