Exposure to risk in the care industry

Towergate has been synonymous with specialist insurance for care homes and the care sector. In this article we take a look at the changing needs of our customers and the risks they are exposed to in an increasingly litigious society.

Our aim is to help our clients through advice and support on areas such as claims, underwriting and health and safety, in order to help them manage the risks they may face.

At a recent care seminar, speakers Paula Jefferson and Catherine Fox, from Beachcroft Solicitors LLP, who both have extensive experience dealing with claims arising from allegations of abuse or neglect, gave an informative outline on the common risks facing care homes and those working in the care industry today.

One issue faced by organisations of all sizes, is the increasing willingness of people to pursue claims. Paula pointed out that there has been an increase in the number of solicitors and law firms who will now offer money just for a claim to be reported. These types of offers may encourage people to lie about accidents they may have had in the past and also over-exaggerate the details of the claim.

Also highlighted was the increase in allegations made by employees of harassment, especially towards managers, which may be exaggerated or untrue. In many cases it has been found out that the employer in question did, in fact, display good management but there is a fine line that has to be walked between firm management and dealing with employee rights. As pointed out before, in today's society, people are being encouraged to make claims.

With the high turnover of staff, it is difficult to ensure all workers have had a sufficient amount of health and safety and risk management training. When an accident arises and a claim is made, it can be hard to get the right evidence needed due to the high staff turnover. It is important to collect all statements and evidence when an accident happens; no matter how small it is, so that if a claim arises the evidence is ready to be used. Jason Claydon, Technical Director, Towergate, reinforced the importance of this; it is best to do everything possible at the time of the accident, such as taking witness statements and photos and ensuring all records, including maintenance records, are current and available.

They concluded by expressing how important it is, in this economic climate, that the correct advice and support is offered, especially in Risk Management, so organisations have the right procedures in place should a claim arise against them. They also put forward the importance of receiving help from your broker in the event of publicity that comes with claims and allegations. They can give you the right advice and think outside the box when it comes to these situations.

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