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Doncaster care home settles five-figure neglect claim

By Katrina Elsey

Published In: Personal Injury

A Doncaster care home has agreed to a five-figure settlement following legal action over neglect and abuse endured by a former resident.

Photo of care home resident and her family

An investigation by Doncaster Local Authority found that a former resident at Ivy Court Care Home in Balby suffered severe burns due to negligence by the carers. The former resident, who was diagnosed with dementia, was burned after a boiling drink spilled onto her lap.

Following the incident in April last year, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected Ivy Court Care Home, managed by Runwood Homes. Inspectors identified breaches in safety and management regulations and found the facility required improvement.

The investigation highlighted several failures, including inadequate first aid response and poor recognition of non-verbal signs of distress. Consequently, Runwood Homes has implemented several corrective measures. These include enhanced first aid training, better incident documentation and resident observations, and clearer communication with health professionals and family members.

The incident also prompted wider reviews of health and emergency response processes within Doncaster. Runwood Homes has since apologised to the resident’s family and reached an out of court settlement.

Linda Godden, the daughter of the former resident, says: “Although the compensation acknowledges the neglect my mother suffered, she is no longer the same person she was before the accident. It breaks my heart that I trusted the care home staff to look after her and they failed her. I don’t want any other family to go through what we’ve been through. I feel extremely upset that I couldn’t protect my mum.”

Katrina Elsey of law firm Switalskis acted on behalf of the family. Katrina says: “Our role is to protect vulnerable individuals and ensure victims’ voices are heard. It’s rarely an easy decision for families to make when placing their parents within a home. And when they do make that decision, they expect that their vulnerable relative is being cared for properly. Unfortunately, in this case our client was not being cared for properly. First aid wasn’t carried out at the point of the incident and by the time the care staff took my client to her room the heat had already caused damage. We’re pleased the home admitted liability and agreed to settle the case which has been extremely distressing for my client and her family.”

 For World Elder Abuse Day (WEAAD), taking place on 15 June, Switalskis is calling for care sector organisations and the wider public to pledge to help reduce abuse of older vulnerable people.

Katrina says: “This case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of safeguarding vulnerable older people. Elder abuse affects one in six people over 60. Mental impairments, such as dementia, can increase the risks of an elderly person experiencing abuse and not receiving the care they deserve. It can often lead to severe physical and harm. It’s crucial for organisations and the public to work together to prevent such abuse happening time and time again.”

Picture: Linda Godden, June Hinds and Martin Kerry

If you or a loved one have suffered injury in a residential setting, contact us in complete confidence. You can call 01302 320621 or email your details to


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Katrina has over 25 years’ experience in the legal sector. She is a Senior Associate Litigation Executive in the Personal Injury department.

Senior Associate Litigation Executive

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