Author: Tim Davies LLB
In the news: the Daily Mail discusses how care homes may be breaking the law
We comment on the Daily Mail's “rip-off care homes” article
Today’s Daily Mail article illustrates how “unscrupulous fees billed by care homes to vulnerable elderly people and their families may be illegal.” Citing the Competition and Markets Authority watchdog, the Daily Mail also reported that “charges for residents who died months earlier are one of a range of controversial practices” used by some homes.
Further, the Daily Mail suggested that “all the abuses were targeted at self-funding residents, who pay their own fees, many of whom are forced to sell their houses to cover bills that commonly exceed £600 a week. Self-funders are often milked by care home owners to offset the lower fees paid by councils for taxpayer-funded residents.”
As a company who specialise in securing NHS continuing healthcare funding for clients with assessed primary health care needs, these issues are sadly all too familiar to us with upsetting anecdotes being relayed to our client advisors daily.
Unfortunately, very few people are aware that there is a package of care provided by the NHS which will cover the full cost of care if you meet the stringent criteria. This is called continuing healthcare.
Continuing healthcare funding, also known as CHC funding, is free healthcare provided by the NHS which can be received in any setting outside of hospital including at home, within a hospice or in a care home (either residential or nursing). The package of care is available to people who have significant ongoing healthcare needs, and it covers 100% of care costs.
To be eligible for NHS Continuing healthcare funding, it must be established that your need for care is primarily health related. Additionally, these needs must be assessed as being either complex, intense and unpredictable in their nature or a combination of the same. It should be noted that a person’s health needs – not their diagnosis - determines whether they are eligible for funding so having a certain diagnosis, for example having been diagnosed with Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease or Parkinson’s disease, is not in itself an automatic entitlement to free care.
Importantly, it doesn’t matter what your income is or what savings you have, if you meet the criteria, you are entitled to free NHS CHC funding. NHS continuing healthcare funding is not means tested.
As such, if an individual has significant ongoing health needs, it is crucial to secure their entitlement to continuing health care to avoid the liability of paying for care homes. The issue is that the NHS are increasingly restricting access to the funding and individuals who ought to be eligible are denied continuing healthcare. When faced with this scenario it is crucial to contact a specialist such as the team at Compass Continuing health care to assist you. We are industry experts and have a high success rate in securing funding for our clients in the swiftest possible timeframe.
Author: Tim Davies LLB
Do not delay, contact us today. We specialise in securing funding from day 1 and assisting families with the process from the outset. Don’t wait until a negative decision has been made and it is then necessary to have to appeal the outcome. This can take many months and all the while the patient will be having to pay the cost of their care.
Did you know?
If an individual is approaching the end of their life then a “fast track” Continuing healthcare funding assessment may be appropriate. This enables the individual to receive prompt NHS funding to meet the cost of care at the end of life stage.