Andrew Farley, director of Farley Dwek Solicitors represents more than 250 families battling to recover care home fees fees wrongly charged by the NHS:
“Relatives of people planning for care home fees need to be alert to the savings that can be made and the entitlements available. One of the biggest savings families can make is to ensure that their local Primary Care Trust correctly assesses the care needs of their family member. If care needs change, for example if the health of a relative deteriorates, then the amount of funding available from the NHS may change significantly.
“We’re acting for more than 250 families who were charged care home fees unnecessarily primarily because their care needs changed but their funding needs were never altered. This is a classic mistake made by the NHS and compounded by the fact families feel they can’t challenge funding decisions.
“If you are not persistent in regularly reviewing the care needs of your relative you will miss out on funding available. The NHS has no interest in letting you know where savings can be made so you have to be tenacious and take legal action wherever you think they have made mistakes on funding decisions.”
“If your relative was rejected for funding on financial eligibility alone then they should challenge the decision immediately. We estimate there tens of millions of pounds are set aside for families to recover care home fees wrongly paid by elderly patients now and in the future.”
“If you’re thinking of planning ahead and preparing for your care home costs I would start by talking to your accountant or financial advisor and working out a financial plan. Saving early an agreement amount every month in an ISA or high interest account is a good way to start.
“Research potential care homes, scope out the facilities and see if they offer a payment plan if you are self-paying. Talk to your family and agree with any offspring that they will keep a close eye on what fees you will be charged when the event happens.”