Author: Tim Davies LLB
The Perils of "no win - no fee" & NHS continuing healthcare funding
Continuing healthcare funding experts may offer "no win-no fee" funding arrangements. The reality is that these situations can ultimately cost the client an eye watering amount.
The Perils of ‘No Win - No Fee’ NHS Funding For Care Homes
What is a "No win - no fee agreement and does it offer value for money for the client? At Compass CHC we are firmly of the view that they do not in investigations of NHS Continuing healthcare funding. Whilst they are more than appropriate in other areas such as medical negligence or personal injury claims where a specialist solicitor is instructed, we are of the view they are not fit for purpose and do not offer the client the best route of funding in the specialist are of NHS continuing healthcare funding.
"No win-No fee" arrangements can alternatively be referred to as a ‘success fee’ or a ‘contingency fee agreement’. The idea is that there is no fee for the individual to pay except in the circumstances where the case is won. Where the individual is successful the fee is then inflated to "reward" the company for having taken the risk that they may lose and not be paid for work they have done.
This can be appealing to people seeking to investigate their individual’s entitlement to the cost of care being met by the NHS. However, unfortunately as with most things that appear too good to be true, our view would be that the rule distinctly applies to these sorts of arrangements when comparing cost structures for expert advice in the field of NHS Continuing healthcare.
NHS Funding For Care Homes
Often it is required that an individual will pay a large fixed fee up-front for the company to determine whether in fact there is any basis to even offer such a funding arrangements. The danger is then that only in the most certain of cases will the risk offering a ‘no win - no fee’ arrangement be made in order to minimise the risk that work is not undertaken without receiving payment . As such, if the prospects are not exceptionally high individuals may be rejected and told that funding terms will not be offered. This is concerning as we, as a company, have successfully taken on and achieved the funding for individuals where they have initially been denied a route of funding via ‘no win – no fee’. It gives the impression that there are not sufficient prospects for the case to warrant taking it further, but this is far from the reality as these companies may only wish to take the nursing home fees case on a ‘no win – no fee’ arrangement where they can be absolutely certain that they will recover their costs.
Secondly, in the event that a case is successful, the company will charge a very large success fee, not only covering the cost of any money they recover, but also in addition the cost of what would equate to a year in the care home in fees on a percentage basis. By way of a working example; if someone is paying £1,000 per week in a nursing home and their total costs per year are therefore £52,000 and they have been in care for exactly one year and have paid £52,000, under a ‘no win - no fee’ arrangement, the client would be expected to pay a large percentage, ordinarily around 35% to 40%, of any funds that the company successfully secures as well as 35% to 40% of the annual costs. The unfortunate client in this scenario would therefore be left with a bill for £41,600 plus VAT at a further £8,320, if they were able to secure a reimbursement of a year’s fee and fees being paid on an ongoing continuing basis. This is obviously an incredibly high amount of money regardless of the fees recovered and the ongoing costs being saved.
As such, it is firmly our view at Compass Continuing Healthcare, that ‘no win – no fee’ agreements have the potential to be exceedingly perilous for the client and in no way offer good value as they not only reject cases that might otherwise have been won to ensure that they are only taking on cases they are certain of recovering fees from, but also because the level of fees that are charged are so eye-wateringly high in the event of success. Our view would be that other forms of funding arrangement offer better value and cost certainty to a client.
Securing Nursing Care Home Costs
At Compass Continuing Healthcare, we exclusively offer fixed fees. This allows the client to know from day one the total cost they are ever going to pay. Our fixed investigation fees are on average equivalent to the total costs of one week in a nursing home and even if a full appeal is required, our fees would not exceed the average of one month in a care home setting in England and Wales. Having compared our costs to that of our competitors we believe we offer some of, if not the lowest, costs nationally.
Traditionally, solicitors are known to charge hourly rates in the absence of such contingency fee or ‘no win – no fee’ arrangements. Again, at Compass Continuing Healthcare we do not believe that this offers good value to the client as there is no way of offering any certainty as to what the overall costs will equate to. Where a case is funded on an hourly work basis a solicitors would only able be to provide estimates of what time would be required. If a case is more complex or takes longer to progress than was originally anticipated then an original estimate provided could be far exceeded by the end bill received. Given average hourly rates can often exceed £200 plus VAT for a solicitor, costs can quickly run away with themselves. This further influences our reasoning for undertaking work exclusively on a fixed fee basis, allowing costs certainty and financial planning at a very competitive and cost proportionate rate.
Compass CHC are not exclusive in providing work on a fixed fee basis. Our view would be that if a company is confident in the time it will take them to conclude a case relating to NHS continuing healthcare funding they should be prepared to offer a fixed fee which allows the individual the cost certainty they require to be able to determine if there is a cost to benefit ratio in their favour of pursuing an investigation for an NHS Continuing Healthcare. If they are not prepared to offer a fixed fee for the work they undertake the obvious query should be why not?
Who Can Help With My NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding issues?
The key here is to ensure that you have an expert assisting you with the process. Compass Continuing Healthcare specialise exclusively in matters of CHC (NHS continuing healthcare) funding and we are experts in this area with an exceptionally high success rate.
Should you or a family member have any issues relating to care home funding, you should not hesitate to contact our office for a free, no obligation discussion. We can be contacted on 0121 227 8940 or complete our Continuing Healthcare Assessment survey.
We specialise in securing NHS healthcare 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.
We are industry experts and our experience has been that we are able to secure a successful result for our clients in a swifter time frame, for lower costs than our competitors.
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.