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NHS Continuing Healthcare & Adult Social Care | March 2021 Review

As the majority of care homes opened back up to visitors, March marked a significant milestone in the pandemic. Solicitor in Health & Community Care Team, Charlotte Bell takes us through the updates in March, looking at the latest news for NHS continuing healthcare and Adult Social Care.
  • A recent decision of the LGSO found that Nottingham County Council had no “regard for his [P] human rights” whilst residing in residential care. P was moved to residential care on a temporary basis whilst his wife cared for their son at the family home. The LGSO found that the local authority failed to conduct a timely review and/or an assessment of P’s needs. The local authority were further criticised for not providing a carer’s assessment for P’s wife. LGSO reports that it took the local authority five months to complete a mental capacity assessment as to whether P had capacity to make decisions about his care and residence and to assess  whether P had capacity to understand and agree to the care home costs. As a consequence of these delays, P’s family were charged for his care in the region of £15,000. To read the LGSO recommendation, click here
  • Cost of care – the latest Which? article reviews the escalating cost of care in the last 8 years which demonstrates that the annual increase costs of care for residential placements was 3.2%. This article reports that the average costs of residing at a care home is  £672.00 per week. To read the full article, click here
  • A snapshot of the updated guidance on visits to care homes (updated 9 March 2021): 
  1. The government has asked all care homes to allow one named visitor per resident. Note the guidance states “as far as possible this should remain the same person”.
  2. Care homes are to ask the resident who they would like to nominate as the ‘named visitor’. If P lacks capacity, consultation should be had with P’s family and friends.
  3. Placements are encouraged to provide opportunities for visiting where available provided visits are as a safe as possible.
  4. Family and friends can ask the care home to justify their visiting policy.
  5. The guidance recognises that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ and provides for greater flexibility dependent on family circumstances and P’s needs of the resident. Any diversion from the guidance requires agreement from all those involved.
  6. This guidance does not mean that other family and friends, who are not the named person, cannot visit. These visits should be facilitated but in a different way such as; window visits, visiting pods or screens between resident and/or visitor.
  7. Dissatisfied with the decision of the placement? You have a right to ask for the care home’s visiting policy and discuss the policy adopted. Still unsatisfied? Ask for a copy of the risk assessment adopted. Still no further forward? Contact P’s named social worker for assistance to resolve the issues. Alternatively contact the CQC. 

For the full guidance, click here

  • Although a backlog had been expected when assessments resumed on the 1 September, it is worrying that some localities in an effort to clear backlogs are unlawfully eschewing national procedures and implementing their own screening tool. Whilst the process is not without its critics, in efforts to standardise the process, the National Framework has been revised over the years due to such variations in practice, and this must be addressed and not allowed to continue. To read in full, click here.
  • This article states that LGSO found Lincolnshire County Council to be charging a flat rate for respite care to over £4,000 respite users without assessing P’s affordability, contrary to the Care and Support statutory guidance. To read the full article, click here
  •  A very helpful article from Which? tackles the common questions about paying for care. For a no nonsense guide, click here

If you have any queries or concerns about any of the topics covered above, please do not hesitate to contact our team for free initial advice. Just call 01926 354704 or email

Charlotte Bell | Solicitor 

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