ANGRY relatives of elderly care home residents say the Government is ‘covering up’ a little-known compensation scheme for victims of mistakes made by NHS trusts over care home fees.
Lawyers estimate that tens of millions of pounds has been set aside for families to recover care home fees wrongly paid by elderly patients.
Too many people are unaware because the NHS is only fulfilling its minimum obligation to communicate the policy – putting it on a single page of its enormous website.
Many victims of the admin blunder had to sell their home to pay for their care even though they were entitled to full funding.
Alarmingly even family members who kept appealing the initial decision and were rejected again and again – have now been told they were entitled to funding after all.
Experts say new deadlines to make a claim set by the Department of Health have been poorly communicated and ‘smack of a cover up’.
Andrew Farley, director of Farley Dwek Solicitors, said:
“This is a national disgrace and if the Government is to avoid being accused of a cover up it has to give the NHS the resources it needs to communicate this policy effectively. Putting it up on asingle webpage where it will never be found is scandalous.
“We estimate the Government had earmarked at least £10m for the relatives of victims but we believe they are quietly satisfied at the relatively slow take – thanks to a strategy of trying to keep the issue low profile.
“If your relative was rejected for funding on financial eligibility alone then they should challenge the decision immediately. We’re handling more than 250 cases and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
A new deadline of 31st March 2013 has been set by the Department of Health for families to lodge a claim to recover care home fees spent between 1st April 2011 and 31st March 2012.