31-03-2010

Care Fees - Don’t Pay More Than You Have To!

When an elderly person is being discharged from hospital, they go through a “screening process” which decides whether they can safely go back home, or whether a fuller assessment of their needs is required. The fuller assessment looks at 11 different areas of the person’s health and their care needs to decide where is the best place for them to live. This includes looking at their mobility, their breathing, their continence, their mental state etc. There are 4 possible outcomes of the assessment – the person could return home, move into residential care, need residential care with some nursing, or need full nursing care. If the person is assessed as needing the last of these options then the costs of their care will be paid in full by the NHS. If any of the other 3 outcomes are reached, then the elderly person is likely to be assessed as to how much they should pay towards the cost of that care.

Sometimes mistakes are made in these assessments, or the complicated means-testing rules are not followed correctly. This can mean that some people end up paying more for their care than they need to.

DID YOU KNOW... you can challenge the decision if you are not happy with it? We can advise you on the rules that should have been applied and can help you to appeal against a decision. We can represent you at panel meetings or can liaise with the Primary Care Trust or the Local Authority on your behalf. Don’t feel that once the decision has been made it can’t be changed. Many solicitors (Banner Jones included) can do this sort of work on a “no win, no fee” basis. Expert solicitors can steer you through what can seem like minefields of complaints and appeals procedures to make sure that you and your family don’t lose out.

Even if your loved one has sadly died whilst in care, it might be worth discussing their case with us, as it is sometimes possible to review decisions which were made some time ago and re-claim thousands of pounds of care fees which should never have been paid out.

Whatever point you are at along this journey, find out today whether you are able to make a claim. For further information and advice, please contact Rebecca Lee, Head of Private Client, member of STEP and of Solicitors for the Elderly on 01246 560560 or visit www.bannerjones.co.uk.