Care agency cancellation fees

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Rosettastone57, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    972
    MIL went into care home on an emergency basis from hospital. Stay will be permanent. I was therefore only able to give the care agency a week's notice that their services were no longer required. Unfortunately their contract states they need 28 days notice to cancel otherwise charges ensue. So I received their bill today for 3 weeks care which of course she never received from them. I know it's a business but I wasn't in a position to give them 28 days notice. A month ago I didn't know MIL was going to deteriorate that quickly. Rant over.
     
  2. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,650
    North West
    This seems very unfair. I expect though that it's common. As few people would be able to give 28 days notice, it must be a nice little earner for them.
     
  3. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,493
    Female
    I know it's a bit galling, but I can see why they have these terms. 28 days does seem excessive, my mother's care agency only requested 14 days' notice. They needed to re-deploy the staff which were assigned to her, so it seemed fair enough. My mother's move to a care home was planned rather than an emergency so I gave them 16 days notice.
     
  4. Cazzita

    Cazzita Registered User

    May 12, 2018
    465
    This seems so harsh at an already tough time. Sometimes I wonder if the word 'care' is appropriate at all in this damn business! :(
     
  5. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    #5 Jessbow, Sep 10, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
    Be sure to read the small print- negociate of needs be before signing up for services.

    I know someone, post stroke, not dementia, who told her regular carer ( 3 calls a day same girl ) she was going on holiday. Told her the dates and the girl wrote them down. She reminded her at regular intervals, in fact they counted down to the holiday together.


    The carer went on to tell her how she was going to be 'here there and everywhere' for the fortnight she was away and would be glad when she was back.

    She was clobbered for 14 days of care, + 14 'non cancellation of visit' charges . - Because she didn't TELEPHONE THE OFFICE and say she didn't need care.
    Still argueing about it, because clearly the agency knew as they redeployed the girl whilst she was away.
     
  6. Distressed55

    Distressed55 Registered User

    May 13, 2018
    67
    I got stung the same way when dad went into hospital. Which was rubbing salt into the wound. Yes, I appreciate that it's a business but when it's a hospital admission, giving notice is not really possible.
     
  7. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,759
    Salford
    The CMA (Competition and Marketing Authority I think it stands for) were looing into notice periods and were supposed to be putting out their findings this summer, I've looked and I can't see anywhere that that has actually happened yet.
    Specifically they were looking into the charges made when someone passed away in a care home and notice periods of 28 days were charged even if the home re-let the room a week later, not exactly your situation but the principle is the same, an unforeseeable terminating a care contract.
    From what I read at the time the CMA were asking for information and input from the public and the industry they said they felt that 7 days notice seemed fair but the industry was pushing for 14 days notice, quelle surprise!
    As I say I can't see the report is out yet and it doesn't cover your exact circumstances but it's broadly speaking the same thing, you could offer to pay but say that you "reserve the right" to make a complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (see link below) and see if they'll negotiate and avoid having it looked into and possibly declared unfair.
    K

    https://www.lgo.org.uk/adult-social-care
     
  8. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,894
    Male
    North Manchester
    It could do with something like the BT MBORC (matters beyond our reasonable control), eg if a large storm results in loss of your phone service, you don't get compensation.
     
  9. KathrynAnne

    KathrynAnne Registered User

    Jun 6, 2018
    272
    Female
    South Yorkshire
    Unfortunately most carers are on zero hours contracts so if the hours of someone they regularly care for are dropped, there may be some time before they get new clients to make the hours up again. Usually agencies will suspend payments if someone goes into hospital but I think there is always a notice period if the contact is ended.
     
  10. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,493
    Female
    If the PWD is in a care home, you have to continue to pay care home fees while the person is in hospital too. I think my mother's contract says full fees for the first six weeks, then a reduced rate after that.
     
  11. Marnie63

    Marnie63 Registered User

    Dec 26, 2015
    1,586
    Hampshire
    My agency had a 24 hour cancellation policy, and they stuck to it. Most of my changes and cancellations were by email so I had a record, but sometimes, as in the last days' of mum's life, it was done by phone. I requested their final invoice and received it a couple of days ago. There was one final call on the invoice, which didn't happen as by then mum was in hospital. I'm not actually sure whether I cancelled that within 24 hours or not, so I let it go and did not query. Overall they were a very well run agency and did care, over and above the care calls. Never had any real problems with them.

    I've decided that after funeral directors, the care business is the next best business to be in.

    Also worth always reading a contract through before signing. No surprises then.
     
  12. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    972
    I was aware of the terms. But I was simply not in a situation to give 28 days notice due to having to find an emergency placement. That's the part that's so frustrating . My husband took it up with the agency manager who said she would review it but I'm not hopefull.
     
  13. Marnie63

    Marnie63 Registered User

    Dec 26, 2015
    1,586
    Hampshire
    That seems very unfair then. Contracts are contracts, but when we are dealing with people and health, you would think there would be a bit of flexibility applied, especially during such a difficult period for you. If they had applied that clause rigidly within a normal care environment at home, that's one thing, but if you have unexpected circumstances, suddenly decline in health, etc. one would hope for a little bit more compassion. I'd keep pressing the agency. I bet it's a lot of money.

    Although the agency we used was quite strict and rigid with it's terms, I thought the 24 hour cancellation was fair. There was no hint of this changing. Maybe some are just more greedy than others. Funerals and care, that's the business to be in.
     
  14. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    972
    Well my husband's complaint obviously had some impact on the agency. Today the manager phoned to say that as MIL was still in a local home they would send carers to visit her for an hour for the next three weeks. This would be 2 one hour visits per week. They have sent me the roster and names of the carers . No additional charge( I should think not) as a way of trying to be reasonable and apologise for the cancellation fees . An interesting solution not one I've come across before
     
  15. KathrynAnne

    KathrynAnne Registered User

    Jun 6, 2018
    272
    Female
    South Yorkshire
    Glad the Care agency came to a compromise with you. I know of people in care homes who have also continued with care agency visits so that they can go out on a 1 to 1 basis.
     
  16. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,493
    Female
    That sounds like a good result.
     

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