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Care Home - poor quality care, negligence and repayment of fees

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Phil8147, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. Phil8147

    Phil8147 Registered User

    Jan 19, 2015
    2
    Lichfield
    I have a situation where there was a safeguarding issue with regard to the poor quality of care my father in law received in a care home. The care home admitted negligence. As my father in law was a self-funder I would have expected a refund of care fees. The response I have had is:- The owner confirmed that he was aware of the outcome of the adult protection investigation and that the allegations were substantiated. He understood that the measures required by the safeguarding investigation had been put in place and that staff that attended the meeting acknowledged that negligence had occurred. He advised that he had discussion with his insurers but would not consider any reimbursement of fees. He advised neither the NHS Trust nor CQC can enforce any repayment of fees. How can a care home that was negligent get away with this and what can be done about this?
     
  2. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,237
    Female
    England
    #2 jaymor, Jan 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    If no help is forthcoming from CQC then perhaps asking the advice from a solicitor would bring forth another answer. There are solicitors who specialise in working for the elderly.

    It is shocking that although neglect has been proved and accepted by the home they are not prepared to refund fees paid for care that was not given.

    You certainly have a fight on your hands, hope you can get some satisfaction.

    Jay
     
  3. Wirralson

    Wirralson Account Closed

    May 30, 2012
    661
    As jaymor says, you really need legal advice. The problem is that English law (I assume your FiL is in England or Wales) only really pays out liquidated damages if you can prove an economic loss (I know that is a gross over-simplification) and then only if the care level amounts to a breach of contract. In any case, you would probably at most only get a sum equivalent to part re-imbursement of care for the period during which the sub-standard care was alleged to have taken place.

    It's worth putting some speculative numbers on it: if you have a high-end care home (£60kpa = £5k pcm), and - say 70% of that is assessed as "hotel costs" (accommodation, food, depreciation) and "staff costs" (the required level of staff numbers) then any reimbursement would be probably amount to a percentage of the remaining £1500 pcm - say 20% x 4 months =£1200. That's high-end - if the costs are lower, the likely payout will be lower. (English Courts don't usually do punitive damages in this sort of case, btw.)

    It's worth contacting a solicitor and using one in this instance as they will have a more accurate idea of what are realistic numbers and likelihood of success. It may be that the costs of litigation (especially if the sum likely to be paid out is below the Small Claims Court threshold) exceed any likely payment, aside from the chances of winning. Also it's evidence of seriousness. Claims for reimbursement for alleged sub-standard care can be a pretty regular occurence in care homes and you have received what is probably the standard response. Using a solicitor pushes your case above the "background noise".

    And the bit about the NHS and CQC not being able to enforce reimbursement is entirely correct. As your FiL is self-funding the NHS is totally irrelevant, and AIUI the CQC has (currently) no powers to order compensation.

    W
     
  4. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    The CH is insured against this sort of event and this is the only answer the insurance company would ever allow the CH to make in the hope that you just walk away and forget it.

    Give a couple of solicitors a call. No win no fee types can sometimes work out well. Their fees can be added on to any money you receive back.

    I wish you well.☺
     
  5. count2ten

    count2ten Registered User

    Dec 13, 2013
    186
    I paid 2 weeks' up front for some respite, had to move mum out after 3 days of poor quality care, sub-standard and dangerous equipment (very long list of complaints) - managed to get her in to a decent home but had to pay again for the 11 days respite - The manager of the sub-standard home was almost crawling after us with apologies as we wheeled my mother out of their unsafe and uncaring institution - will be interesting to see if they refund the fees, part of which was paid by the LA.
     
  6. tink

    tink Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    3
    Neglect in carehome

    I have a similar situation with my parents carehome , my poor mom actually died I am taking the case further through a civil proceeding . I suggest contacting a solicitor who specialises in carehomes and medical neglect they will review the details and if they think you have a good case will take in on as a no win no fee. But make sure it is a very reputable firm who specialise.
    Too many cases are left I have battled on with this as I want justice for my poor mom and my poor dad who also has dementia and looks and asks after her every day :( Needless to say he is no longer at the neglectful carehome!
     
  7. count2ten

    count2ten Registered User

    Dec 13, 2013
    186
    So sorry to hear about your mum - these places should be shut down and the staff banned from working with vulnerable people for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately there's too much easy profit to be made in the "caring" industry - it seems the only way to improve things is to hit them in their pockets, take away their ability to earn a living and be made accountable - Good luck with the action, I will bear this in mind if I don't get any satisfaction from the home (CQC is my next step).
     

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