By Rosalind Hughes, founder of Just Caring Legal
Have you or your relative been asked to pay additional fees for care, despite being eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding? This is illegal and in some cases is likely to amount to financial abuse. It goes against the NHS’ founding principles: that NHS care is free at the point of use and must cover ALL assessed needs. Now finally, the Government agency responsible for protecting consumers has called time on this particular scandal. As a result, refunds for wrongly paid NHS CHC “top up” fees are set to rocket.
CMA orders more than £1 million in refunds for wrongly paid NHS CHC “top-up” fees
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has secured more than £1 million in fee refunds for wrongly paid NHS CHC “top up” fees from just one care home chain alone. Care UK charged recipients of NHS CHC up to £300 a week additional fees on top of their NHS funding for care in its “premium” homes. The CMA said this broke consumer protection law by being unfair and contravening the NHS rules.
Care UK has agreed to repay 160 NHS funded residents whose additional fees went to pay for essential care. The majority will receive a pay-out of more than £1,000. But some will receive “substantially more”, according to the CMA.
The pressure is now on all UK care homes to prove extra fees are fair
This case gives vital ammunition to those who have wrongly paid NHS CHC “top up” fees. In many cases, this happens after CCGs refuse to pay sufficient NHS CHC funding to cover their essential care needs. Now families have a much stronger, clearer case to demand that money back.
Like Care UK, many homes charge NHS CHC funded residents additional fees for “premium” facilities, such as cafes, gyms, or even a telephone. Homes often ask residents to pay even if they are patently unable to access the extra facilities. Most of those in receipt of NHS CHC funding are incapacitated and/or highly immobile. Now the pressure is on all UK care homes to prove these extra fees are fair and justified.
Let us help you get that hard-earned money back
Has your vulnerable relative been financially preyed upon in this way? If so, their top-up payments were probably illegal. Their NHS CHC should cover all the costs of meeting their essential care needs. With our expertise in this area, we can maximise your chances of getting this hard-earned money back. In many cases this could amount to thousands of pounds. To find out more, call or email us today.