How many years do we fight for justice and accountability when our loved one has been failed by a care provider?
I have had personal experience of following the complaints system and at Your Voice Matters, we see many families on their knees, fighting just to get good standards of basic care.
If you have concerns about poor care, the complaints process is all consuming, stressful, and upsetting. It can lead to a physical illness, breakdown in relationships and loss of friendships. This impacts on the whole family unit. The devastation caused to innocent peoples’ lives after they have raised concerns continues to be underestimated.
It is a long, stressful and expensive journey when you decide to fight for justice and accountability, but the sense of the injustice and possibly suffering of your loved one cannot be ignored.
The elderly care sector are well protected, as many of us have experienced when following the formal complaints process. That is why Your Voice Matters feel strongly that this must change and it is something that we are involved in at Government level. Please listen to this Parliamentary speech from November 2016, focusing on raising concerns and our Recommendations. Click HERE. Details on our campaign for Resident and Visitor Rights Click HERE.
Things to think about if you decide to pursue legal action against a failing provider:
You may get an apology, you may not.
You may be awarded compensation, you may not.
The care provider may get fined, they may not. A financial penalty will be a drop in the ocean for many.
If you have the outcome you wanted, will it make you live the rest of your life in peace?
ASK yourself ..... Are they truly sorry? Does their apology make you feel any better?
Will your exhaustive efforts stop this happening again to another vulnerable people in that care home or other care homes?
Will lessons be learned and the person responsible not act in that way again in the future?
I cannot answer Yes to any of the above.
If you decide to follow the legal route, be prepared it can be emotionally and physically challenging. You may go out to work and your every spare moment over months, possibly years can be spent trawling through endless piles of paperwork, emails etc with the added worry of how to finance it.
Is the care provider losing any sleep or wondering how they are going to cover legal fees? No.
This is something I have thought a great deal about since my loved one died in a failing care home in March 2017. Her 8 year journey of five care homes in two counties was a living hell for our family.
I decided to write a blog about this, as I am deeply saddened every day to see so many hurting families and have shed many tears over recent weeks, as I share and understand the depth of your anger and despair. I follow your individual painful journeys, even if from afar.
I am not advising anyone not to proceed with legal action, but to be mindful of this next stage of your journey. It is a really tough decision to have to make.
Our loved one became a victim of this appalling not fit for purpose care system. Would our loved one want us to become a victim too and allow these providers to destroy even more years of our life? I know mine would not.
To not take legal action does not mean you do not care, that you have forgotten or forgiven.
I believe there is another way and I have all the time in the world, especially with the right people alongside.
Watch this space, I feel a better and brighter future on the horizon for elderly care ……
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!