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Beware, you have been warned

Acco

Registered User
Oct 3, 2011
228
0
I was offered and accepted a package of care by Home Care (HC) towards the end of my wifes 2wk period in hospital following her collapse. HC provided a summary of care document produced by their hospital based representative. Following discharge from hospital and at the start of the service we were provided with further documentation by HC which stated that for patients with dementia the service was provided free of charge for a period upto 12wks (for patients other than those with dementia, the f.o.c. period was upto 6wks).
Whilst I have some concerns about the system and those administering it, the ladies who attended to provide the hands-on care were very good and I was appreciative of their help through a difficult period.
The HC service came to a natural end after 7wks and 2ds due to a pre-planned holiday with family, where, once again I would be caring for all my wifes needs (with family support, if necessary).
I was surprised and alarmed to then receive some 7wks after the service ended, an invoice relating to the HC provisions, albeit for a small sum covering 0.58hrs. Following a query, I was informed the charge covered the period in excess of the 7wks notified internally but not made known to me, by their hospital representative. Having said that all I had was their document stating a f.o.c. period upto 12wks, I was told that 7wks and 2days was therefor in accordance with the information provided. In addition, I was told the invoice would be placed on the debtor's list for payment collection!
And these, Social Services, would have you believe they are in the business of understanding and caring for people. I will leave you to decide for yourself. By the way, having said there was clearly a problem with their internal/external communications I was told I needed to speak to their hospital representive i.e. I am expected to try and resolve their internal problems. Am I being too pernickety?
 

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,542
0
This assessment business does seem like a massive can of worms which I don't understand yet.

It seems to me on the face of it that they can't sue you for money unless there is an agreement between you and the CH first. If that agreement wasn't made or signed how can they charge you for it?

As I say I have no experience of this just an opinion from an overview. How can anyone send you bills out of the blue?
 

Fed Up

Registered User
Aug 4, 2012
464
0
I have no idea if the bill is wrong or not but what do they mean for collection? Are they intending taking action against you for less than an hours labour, if i've read that right.

If so find out how and contest the case to collect they need a court order( distress warrant) and you will have a summons to attend the hearing before it is issued as its up to the Magistrate to consider the facts.

Then who is billing you the LA or the Care provider I would like to suggest that you need to read the conditions of the contract and it might be said if you had the care that you'd agreed to the terms and conditions with the other party irrespective of whether anything was signed. So a seemingly simple issue could be complex and so much cheaper to just pay up.
 

Acco

Registered User
Oct 3, 2011
228
0
Thankyou both for responding. Not exactly sure what they mean by 'collecting' but concerned they should refer to this and debter's list during our first discussion. The invoice was issued by the LA for Social Services who themselves provided the home care service.
Whilst the invoice relates to a small time period, it is fortunate that our holiday caused a natural break in the care provision. Had that break not been planned we would unknowingly have been charged for a longer period and accordingly received an invoice for a larger sum. There is nothing in the documents which states a cut off time period after which charges will be made: it does identify a date where they would contact us to review the package but they did not do this.
Unless someone draws their attention to this problem others may well be faced with the same position and maybe a lot larger sum of money, completely unexpected.
Presently, I intend writing to say I am quite happy to pay the invoice if they will provide me with a copy of a document provided to and accepted by me within which it states the service is being provided F.O.C. for 7wks only.
Without knowledge of the F.O.C. period being applied, how could I be in a position to judge the appropriate time to consider whether to end, or continue with the service on a chargeable basis?
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
4,331
0
Midlands
Send a copy of the doc that says 12weeks free, by return with the invoice.

DONT send the original- keep that as your evidence.
 

Onlyme

Registered User
Apr 5, 2010
4,992
0
UK
Send a letter stating that it's 12 weeks, they failed to give you warning as per their terms and conditions and you will be seeking legal advice.
 

rajahh

Registered User
Aug 29, 2008
2,791
0
Hertfordshire
I see the words. " up to 2weeks". This is so misleading . Not sure I would have emotional energy to fight it but well done for doing so. Jeannette
 

Fed Up

Registered User
Aug 4, 2012
464
0
Its probably part of their training to refer to a Debtors list but I'm unclear what that is, under the Data Protection Act they are limited to what information they can hold so in your letter ask specific questions i.e.

How is this sum calculated under the provisions of the contract (be it written, verbal or as a consequence of your accepting the service that they provided.
To what agency will this matter be passed for collection, and before such action is taken to whom in the LA do you ask for a review of the account ie the Chief Executives Office.
State clearly that you are aggrieved and are going to take the matter up with your local councillor and the CAB make it clear you do not understand how this sum was arrived at, as in your view you had a period up to 12 weeks where the service was provided free. (I must add though you are very lucky if that was the case, here its only 6 weeks then if necessary you are referred to the SS and pay then)
I really hope you do get them to amend the account as so many just pay and never question anything and I'd bet a lot of LA's claw back revenue in this way.