Milner v Barchester Healthcare Homes Ltd [2022] EWHC 593 (QB) (22 March 2022)

This is an application to strike out or grant to D summary judgment on the claim. [1]

The claim arises out of the treatment of Mrs Elsie Casey (“Elsie”)… between 25 April 2013 and her death there on 12 November 2017. Elsie was born on 22 December 1922 and so was 94 years of age when she died. The cause of death on the death certificate was given as “I(a) Pneumonia and II Dementia”. There was no post mortem and no inquest…The person closest to her was [2]

Summarising the allegations in the Particulars of Claim, those concerns can be expressed as follows. There were repeated instances of Elsie being left unable to access the toilet and left in a soiled state for prolonged periods. There were persistent failures to deal with other aspects of her personal care, including chiropody and skincare. She was often encountered … in an unkempt and unhygienic state. There was a prolonged failure to address her dental and oral health. There were failures in assisting Elsie to mobilise, such that her mobility declined dramatically whilst at the Home. She was at risk from other residents at the Home, which staff managed by isolating her. She was exposed to inappropriate methods of restraint by untrained staff, compromising her dignity and well-being. She was not provided with appropriate care and assistance in relation to her nutrition and hydration; it is likely that she was often left thirsty and hungry. Her risk of choking was not managed adequately. Her risk of falling was not appropriately managed; she fell on multiple occasions. [5]

The application raises two broad issues, which are (1) whether Articles 2 and 3 are engaged on the pleaded facts and (2) whether C has locus standi to bring the claim. [10]

I will strike out and give summary judgment to the defendant on the Article 2 claim. But so far as the claim under Article 3 is concerned (and whether the claimant is characterised as an indirect victim claiming on behalf of herself or a direct victim claiming on behalf of Elsie) I refuse the application. [59]