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From Calpol… to Care Homes: another NHS ‘secret’ costing families thousands

  • Nearly 100,000 families in England and Wales losing out on up to £72,000 per year
  • Homeowners clobbered by ‘secret’ funding pot for care homes
  • Families see inheritance wiped out by wrongly paying parent’s care home fees

HOME OWNERS are missing out on billions of pounds worth of care home places for their elderly parents because of a ‘secret’ NHS funding pot, say experts.

New official statistics prove families in more affluent areas are up to ten times less likely to get NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding than people in poorer areas despite being entitled to it.

The news come days after thousands of parents discovered they are entitled to medication including Calpol on the NHS.

Lawyers say the NHS is ‘shamefully’ keeping the funding secret which misleads home owners into paying privately for care homes they should be getting free and have produced a league table to prove it.

NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding is a free package of care for people with significant ongoing healthcare needs. Just 58,000 people in England currently receive it but it is believed more than 150,000 are actually entitled to it.

More than one million people have been forced to sell their homes to pay care home fees over the past five years according to research by NFU Mutual. The average cost of a UK nursing home is £738 per week – almost £40,000 a year. Some homes cost £1,500 per week.

In Tyneside, 246 people per 50,000 receive the funding meaning you are ten times more likely to secure funding than if you live in Reading where just 12 in 50,000 get the funding.

Andrew Farley, of Farley Dwek Solicitors, is acting for hundreds of families across England wrongly denied the funding:

“We’re not talking about a £2.99 bottle of medicine here we’re talking about thousands of pounds a month being wasted by families who are entitled to free care home funding.

“It doesn’t matter how much cash you’ve got in the bank or how much your house is worth. The fact is NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding is not means tested and if you qualify you should get it.

“It is shameful that local NHS professionals aren’t doing a good enough job in raising awareness of the funding. It spells the difference between paying nothing for your parent’s care in a nursing home and forking out at least £700 a week and nearer £1,500 per week in some parts of the country.”

“The assessment system is complex and it’s clear from the statistics that awareness of the funding differs across the country and I put this down to middle class families in wealthier suburbs assuming they have to pay fees of thousands of pounds per month just because they own a property or have some savings in the bank. The availability of funding is about health not wealth and I feel the NHS is quietly allowing people who they know are entitled to the funding pay for it themselves.

“It could also be that a postcode lottery system exists because the rules are wrongly being applied differently in different parts of the country by local NHS chiefs.

“It’s disgraceful that it’s easier to get funding in some regions than others and families should seek professional advice if they feel they qualify or their relative has an assessment coming up for NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding.”

NHS Continuing Healthcare funding can be used in your own home or in a care home setting where the NHS will pay for your care home fees, including board and accommodation. The funding is not means tested and is based on health assessments, carried out by local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

Regions

England 69.9
Midlands and East of England Commissioning 69.1
South of England Commissioning 65.4
London Commissioning 56.3

Counties

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear 135.5
Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly 114.5
Leicestershire and Lincolnshire 92.3
Merseyside 83.4
North of England Commissioning 82.6
Greater Manchester 80.5
Lancashire 79.8
Essex 79.1
North Yorkshire and Humber 77.2
East Anglia 74.2
Kent and Medway 72.1
South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw 71.5
Birmingham and the Black Country 70.9
Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire 70.5
Durham, Darlington and Tees 70.3
West Yorkshire 70.2
Shropshire and Staffordshire 69.3
Wessex 66.1
Arden, Herefordshire and Worcestershire 65.9
Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral 62.3
Surrey and Sussex 60.2
Hertfordshire and the South Midlands 56.4
London 56.3
Bath, Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire 52.8
Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire 50.6
Thames Valley 30.5

Local CCG

NHS South Tyneside 246.0
NHS Sunderland 234.4
NHS Salford 213.7
NHS Gateshead 184.0
NHS Southend 161.9
NHS Northumberland 142.4
NHS Hull 140.6
NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney 129.4
NHS St Helens 129.4
NHS Cannock Chase 126.7
NHS Richmond 124.8
NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon 121.4
NHS Newcastle West 120.9
NHS Wigan Borough 120.6
NHS Lancashire North 118.3
NHS Somerset 115.1
NHS Kernow 109.2
NHS Bolton 108.0
NHS Lincolnshire East 105.7
NHS North Norfolk 105.2
NHS Wolverhampton 104.3
NHS South Devon and Torbay 103.1
NHS Havering 101.3
NHS South Manchester 100.4
NHS South Lincolnshire 100.3
NHS Calderdale 99.6
NHS East Leicestershire and Rutland 97.6
NHS Merton 96.6
NHS Solihull 96.2
NHS Doncaster 95.6
NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield 95.1
NHS Sutton 94.7
NHS West Lancashire 94.5
NHS South Warwickshire 92.8
NHS Lincolnshire West 91.8
NHS Southport and Formby 91.6
NHS Stafford and Surrounds 91.3
NHS Warrington 91.3
NHS South West Lincolnshire 90.9
NHS Thanet 90.7
NHS Castle Point and Rochford 90.7
NHS Blackpool 90.3
NHS North Kirklees 89.8
NHS Barking and Dagenham 89.5
NHS Walsall 88.7
NHS Greater Huddersfield 88.6
NHS Tameside and Glossop 88.4
NHS Fylde & Wyre 88.4
NHS Swale 88.0
NHS Newcastle North and East 87.7
NHS Halton 87.5
NHS Basildon and Brentwood 86.7
NHS Isle of Wight 85.4
NHS West Norfolk 85.4
NHS Redbridge 85.0
NHS West Leicestershire 84.9
NHS Leicester City 83.4
NHS North Tyneside 83.2
NHS West London 82.6
NHS Croydon 82.4
NHS Darlington 81.7
NHS North Staffordshire 81.6
NHS Scarborough and Ryedale 81.2
NHS Wandsworth 80.9
NHS Chorley and South Ribble 80.5
NHS Kingston 80.5
NHS North Durham 80.0
NHS Eastern Cheshire 79.7
NHS Rotherham 78.8
NHS Brighton and Hove 78.2
NHS Bedfordshire 77.5
NHS Leeds North 77.3
NHS Hardwick 76.9
NHS Knowsley 76.7
NHS Dorset 75.9
NHS Medway 75.8
NHS South Norfolk 75.6
NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk 74.4
NHS West Suffolk 74.2
NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham 74.2
NHS North East Lincolnshire 74.0
NHS Warwickshire North 72.9
NHS South Kent Coast 72.8
NHS East Lancashire 72.5
NHS Leeds South and East 72.4
NHS Portsmouth 72.2
NHS South Sefton 71.8
NHS West Kent 70.6
NHS Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley 70.3
NHS Gloucestershire 70.3
NHS West Hampshire 70.1
NHS Stoke On Trent 69.1
NHS East Riding of Yorkshire 69.0
NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby 68.9
NHS Liverpool 68.4
NHS West Essex 68.2
NHS Ashford 68.0
NHS Surrey Downs 67.6
NHS Surrey Heath 67.4
NHS North West Surrey 67.3
NHS Sheffield 67.2
NHS Bassetlaw 66.9
NHS Cumbria 66.7
NHS Coventry and Rugby 65.6
NHS South Eastern Hampshire 65.6
NHS Hounslow 65.3
NHS Fareham and Gosport 65.2
NHS Norwich 65.1
NHS Birmingham Crosscity 64.1
NHS Shropshire 63.8
NHS Thurrock 63.7
NHS Mid Essex 63.3
NHS Blackburn With Darwen 62.5
NHS Leeds West 62.5
NHS Herts Valleys 62.4
NHS Wakefield 62.4
NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven 62.3
NHS East and North Hertfordshire 62.2
NHS West Cheshire 61.9
NHS North Lincolnshire 61.6
NHS North Derbyshire 61.4
NHS North Somerset 61.1
NHS Hammersmith and Fulham 60.8
NHS South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula 60.0
NHS Bury 59.9
NHS East Surrey 59.7
NHS South Worcestershire 59.0
NHS Barnet 58.4
NHS Coastal West Sussex 58.3
NHS Nottingham North and East 57.8
NHS Wyre Forest 57.7
NHS Aylesbury Vale 57.1
NHS Bradford Districts 57.0
NHS South Cheshire 56.8
NHS Guildford and Waverley 56.2
NHS North East Essex 55.7
NHS Vale of York 55.3
NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-On-Tees 55.2
NHS Central London (Westminster) 54.9
NHS Canterbury and Coastal 54.6
NHS Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford 54.0
NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex 53.8
NHS North Hampshire 53.7
NHS Ealing 53.5
NHS Harrogate and Rural District 53.3
NHS Enfield 53.3
NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough 53.1
NHS Nottingham City 52.8
NHS East Staffordshire 52.6
NHS Greater Preston 52.4
NHS Bath and North East Somerset 52.4
NHS Lambeth 51.9
NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham 51.9
NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove 51.4
NHS Newark & Sherwood 51.2
NHS Bromley 51.0
NHS Erewash 51.0
NHS Crawley 50.1
NHS Herefordshire 49.1
NHS South Tees 47.7
NHS Swindon 47.3
NHS Mansfield and Ashfield 47.2
NHS Barnsley 47.1
NHS Waltham Forest 47.0
NHS Rushcliffe 46.7
NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale 46.7
NHS Nene 46.5
NHS High Weald Lewes Havens 45.9
NHS North Manchester 45.7
NHS Bexley 45.6
NHS Hastings and Rother 45.4
NHS Birmingham South and Central 45.1
NHS Chiltern 45.0
NHS Vale Royal 43.6
NHS Camden 43.5
NHS Nottingham West 43.2
NHS Haringey 42.9
NHS Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead 42.5
NHS Wirral 42.2
NHS Trafford 41.7
NHS Luton 41.1
NHS Bristol 40.5
NHS Central Manchester 39.3
NHS Southern Derbyshire 39.2
NHS Harrow 38.9
NHS South Gloucestershire 38.8
NHS Dudley 38.6
NHS Islington 38.2
NHS Stockport 36.9
NHS Milton Keynes 36.7
NHS City and Hackney 36.7
NHS Southampton 36.4
NHS Hillingdon 35.9
NHS Lewisham 34.7
NHS Corby 34.5
NHS Oldham 34.1
NHS Newham 33.9
NHS Greenwich 33.6
NHS Bracknell and Ascot 33.1
NHS Slough 33.0
NHS Wiltshire 32.7
NHS Southwark 29.3
NHS Telford and Wrekin 25.0
NHS Newbury and District 22.1
NHS Bradford City 21.9
NHS Oxfordshire 21.7
NHS North & West Reading 21.7
NHS Brent 20.7
NHS Tower Hamlets 20.3
NHS Wokingham 18.7
NHS South Reading 11.7

 

89-year old Frederick Pritchard was wrongly rejected for NHS Continuing Care Funding until Farley Dwek got involved

Barry Pritchard is an ex-police officer from Salisbury. Without getting lawyers involved he says his father probably wouldn’t have received the NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding he was entitled to all along…

“My father became ill with dementia and was gradually getting worse. At first, we arranged for some help from social services in his own home but it soon became clear that his needs were greater than the daily 15 minute visits allocated to him. One day my sister went round to his house only to find him injured on the floor. He had slipped and hurt himself quite badly.

We took him to hospital at the Queen Alexander Hospital in Cosham, Portsmouth where he stayed for three months.

During this time I requested that he was assessed for full NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding but was flatly denied the funding following a brief, cursory assessment by a consultant.

I wasn’t satisfied with this and my financial adviser forwarded me a press article about NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding featuring Farley Dwek and the more I read, the more I felt my father met the criteria laid down in the ‘checklist’ set out by the NHS.

This time I took no chances and hired Farley Dwek who ensured we passed the ‘checklist’ with flying colours and then sent an experienced nurse along to the full assessment alongside our family.
At first the NHS wanted to do the assessment behind our backs with three days’ notice and made it, quite frankly, difficult to get transparency on my father’s paperwork and assessment process. However, my legal team and I pushed hard and we secured the funding with the assessors confirming my father was well above and beyond the minimum criteria needed to get the funding.

With care costs averaging more than £1,000 a week in the South of England this funding is essential to ensuring my father gets the best care that he is entitled to without financially crippling the family.

It’s unfair that such a ‘postcode lottery’ exists and families have to fight so hard to get the funding. The process should be more transparent and simpler. Until then, I’d recommend anyone who feels they should be getting the funding to use a specialist law firm like Farley Dwek. That way you stand the strongest chance of getting the funding and are less likely to have the wool pulled over your eyes or suffer from mistakes made by well-meaning but misinformed NHS staff.

Andrew Farley of Farley Dwek said:

“It is unfortunate that so many families get wrongly rejected for NHS Continuing Care Funding when they clearly meet the criteria laid down in the NHS’s own guidelines. Too many people take ‘no’ for an answer and Mr Pritchard’s case proves that if you’ve got the tenacity and meet the criteria you can overturn the decision and avoid thousands of pounds a year on care home fees for your parents which they are perfectly entitled to.

“It is important to remember that it doesn’t matter where you live or what assets you have this funding is not means tested and people should not be misled about the qualifying criteria. Our evidence is that there is a ‘postcode lottery’ for this funding and depending on where you live there is a massive difference on who avoids care home fees and who doesn’t.”

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