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Confused about care home fees during the pandemic? Read on….

We are currently receiving a number of enquiries from families who are confused as to why they are suddenly being asked to pay for care. Typically these cases involve many elderly or vulnerable people who, instead of returning home were discharged from hospital during the first lock down into various types of accommodation. There were also many people who were urgently moved from home into a care home placement due to a rapid deterioration in their condition and concern that the package of support at home ( and all the risks that went with that ) was insufficient to meet their needs.

In a desperate attempt to free up acute hospital beds and ease pressure on both the NHS and Social Services ,emergency legislation was passed, referred to as Covid Funding,  which enabled the NHS to provide funding outside of the hospital during lockdown such as in a care home placement. Unfortunately however, it would appear that many families were not provided with an explanation as to how long the funding would last and what would happen when the funding ceased.

Of course, in the early stages of the pandemic, no one knew how long lockdown would in fact last.  Families were forced to make rushed decisions and at the same time were acutely aware of the pressures the NHS was facing.  It is therefore, hardly surprising that details got lost in translation or indeed were not translated at all.

On the 1st September 2020 and in an attempt to recommence “normal” NHS and Social Care services, the Government announced that continuing health care assessments and Care Act assessment should recommence. In practice this has resulted in difficult conversations as families, care homes and the NHS not only have to determine whether a person will continue to be eligible for NHS continuing funding and worst still, if not, how the placement is then paid for.  Remember, people were moved swiftly into placements and simply told the NHS would pay.  In many cases there were no discussions as to what the weekly fees were - for the families it was not relevant as they were not paying!  Unfortunately however, as the months have drifted by, people have settled and understandably do not now want to move, indeed, in light of the current second wave of the pandemic, may not in fact be able to do so.  Accordingly, when assessments are undertaken and if person is not found eligible for ongoing funding, families are now becoming under increasing pressure to simply pay the fees as the practicalities of moving their loved one is simply not feasible.

Despite the key date being September 1st 2020, there is, as you can imagine, a huge back log of assessments that have not yet been undertaken as the NHS continue to firefight the battles they face.  Some families therefore have not yet been notified of when an assessment will take place and indeed appear blissfully unaware that there is a real risk that funding will be withdrawn.  Fortunately, those delays will work in their favour as the NHS continue to pay for the care until an assessment has been undertaken.  However, in our experience people are given very little notice of when the assessment will be carried out and, in view of the current restrictions that are in force, are not being given a proper opportunity to fully participate in the assessment.

Next steps…

If you have:

  • Received NHS continuing healthcare funding during Covid-19 but are at risk of it being withdrawn
  • Been waiting for a CHC assessment and are not sure what to do or how to get through it.
  • Already been paying care fees but have not been assessed for NHS continuing healthcare funding
  • Been told you need to pay for care because you have savings or a home

Contact Judy Timson, our dedicated Clinical Advisor (RGN) on 01926 354704

Judy has extensive knowledge of NHS continuing healthcare having previously worked as a hospital discharge co-ordinator and an NHS continuing health care assessor.  Call Judy today for a free initial telephone consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help you.

Why choose Moore & Tibbits?

We deal with the continuing healthcare process on a daily basis and understand the challenges facing families.  Our team are friendly, compassionate, knowledgeable and are passionate about protecting the rights of the vulnerable in our society.  Our specialist health and community care team includes legal and medical experts with expertise in social care, NHS continuing healthcare, paying for care, mental capacity, best interests decision making and much more.  We are one of the very few law firms nationwide to have a dedicated team dealing with NHS continuing healthcare and are also able to offer:

  • Fixed price consultancy service for NHS continuing healthcare 
  • Legal aid for community care issues for those on low incomes who satisfy the eligibility criteria.

Judy Timson


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