Not Understanding Funding

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
30,628
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Bury
I know from experience that making a complaint is fruitless, complaints have been completely ignored. Emails to the social worker are not returned. There is a complete block on communication and they simply plough on with whatever inappropriate course of action they decide to take.
Email the CEO, they won't read but it will be recorded and action taken logged.
Get email address from website.


Just seen
Good points, thank you for that. Can I ask who you copied it to at the local authority?
My suggestion is CEO
 

Dave63

Registered User
Apr 13, 2022
483
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Good points, thank you for that. Can I ask who you copied it to at the local authority?
We didn't copy in the LA as our issue wasn't time critical. As your mum is currently facing discharge to what sounds like a forced placement it's probably best to try and use every mechanism available to force the LA to stop behaving so arrogantly.

I would probably forward a copy via their official complaints system and also send a copy to the Local Government and Social care Ombudsman. The ombudsman won't get involved until a complaint has been dealt with but just the fact the LA see you have contacted the ombudsman may get them to start being more transparent?

 
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AnneF

Registered User
Jul 13, 2023
145
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Thank you @Dave63 - very helpful advice and all points taken on board.

Interestingly I have just had a phone call from the senior placement officer who said there appears to have been several misunderstandings yesterday. She said the (inadequate) care home placement had been intended for somebody else so I don't need to worry about that. She also mentioned that the person I had spoken to had misheard me when I had given the names of the care homes I was subsequently told did not have contracts with the local authority.

She did still maintain that my mum cannot be discharged to somewhere they do not currently have a contract with. When I gently reminded her that they could not restrict our choice on that basis, she said we could have that conversation within the next couple of days when I'm feeling better.

She was at least polite, much more so than the first person I spoke to yesterday who was borderline rude.

It seems I have a little more time, I made her aware I cannot leave the house for seven days due to the Covid.
 

Chizz

Registered User
Jan 10, 2023
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Kent
Thank you @Dave63 - very helpful advice and all points taken on board.

Interestingly I have just had a phone call from the senior placement officer who said there appears to have been several misunderstandings yesterday. She said the (inadequate) care home placement had been intended for somebody else so I don't need to worry about that. She also mentioned that the person I had spoken to had misheard me when I had given the names of the care homes I was subsequently told did not have contracts with the local authority.

She did still maintain that my mum cannot be discharged to somewhere they do not currently have a contract with. When I gently reminded her that they could not restrict our choice on that basis, she said we could have that conversation within the next couple of days when I'm feeling better.

She was at least polite, much more so than the first person I spoke to yesterday who was borderline rude.

It seems I have a little more time, I made her aware I cannot leave the house for seven days due to the Covid.
Hi @AnneF
AS well as MP, there is also a Local Authority Ombudsman you could look up and write to (recorded delivery for proof later) even if they are slow, maladministration by LA should be called out.
Keep strong (despite Covid) if you can.
 

AnneF

Registered User
Jul 13, 2023
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Had a lovely phone call from my MP's office - a letter has been sent to the CEO of the local authority this afternoon advocating for us. He can't promise anything, but hopefully it will help.

Our chosen care home is being very supportive and is liaising directly with the placement team, who are still maintaining they are not a 'recognized supplier' and so will not agree the placement. The care home manager has told me this is rubbish and he will keep on top of it.

The placement officer has told me that they will continue to source a placement for my mother, which I'm seeking to prevent.

The Covid has worsened unfortunately but I'm hoping this is the peak. I'm concerned about not being on the ward while this is going on.
 

AnneF

Registered User
Jul 13, 2023
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The care home manager has let me know that he has spoken to the placement team who is now more cooperative. I was told the placement officer would get in touch with me to talk about financing.

One fly in the ointment is that at my meeting with the care home last week I asked what the top up fee would be and I was given a firm figure. When I mentioned that today I was told that no such figure had been mentioned. That is definitely not the case (I keep full meeting notes) and I'm now concerned that if the local authority offer is low I will not be able to afford the top ups.

I was quoted a figure by the placement officer at the beginning of the week for the care home they were about to discharge my mother to. If that figure is maintained then there will be no problem. If they offer less than that I will be stuffed. I will have to argue that is the figure which they calculated as meeting my mother's needs, then surely I can argue it is maintained into this placement.

I am more stressed than I have ever been in my life.
 

Dave63

Registered User
Apr 13, 2022
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I am more stressed than I have ever been in my life.
Covid with a side order of local authority will do that to you :) Hope you feel better soon.

Now you have your MP and the preferred care home helping to fight your corner hopefully you'll be better placed than a week ago.
 

AnneF

Registered User
Jul 13, 2023
145
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I have just had another telephone call from the local authority placement team still insisting on a forced discharge to a care home of their choice. This is a different care home, and it is also on my red list for being unsafe and unsuitable. They are insisting that my mother cannot choose her placement because this will delay hospital discharge. That is in fact incorrect because the care home I have been working with has said they can have a contract in place within a week. This is with a third party top up agreed privately with the care home.

The local authority has said that the third party top up has to be paid through them (not the care home) and that I have to show six months of bank statements to prove I can pay it. I cannot show the bank statements because the topup payments will be made through a property I put on the market today, the care home has already agreed a private deferred payment arrangement based on the property sale. However the local authority will not accept that if done through them - even though they enter into deferred payment arrangements readily if the client owns the property.

The position is that I'm being placed under undue pressure to accept a setting chosen by the local authority. We are having the right to choose removed from us. I also believe that I'm being placed under extreme duress now by the local authority. They cannot remove the right to choose and I also believe (from the care homes I've spoken to so far) that they cannot deny us the right to enter into a private deferred payment agreement with the care home directly.

Unfortunately my Covid infection is not improving and I'm very tired and struggling to function at the moment. The stress of this is affecting me very badly now, both mentally and physically.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
30,628
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Bury
the local authority will not accept that if done through them - even though they enter into deferred payment arrangements readily if the client owns the property.
This is understandable.
The LA would put a charge on the property which can only be removed by settling the loan which would have to be done before property sale. Who is going to be interested in buying a property with a charge on it?

As I see it the home are prepared to accept the LA rate, they don't have to inform the LA that when the property is sold and your mother becomes self funding you have agreed that you will backpay the shortfall.
 

AnneF

Registered User
Jul 13, 2023
145
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This is understandable.
The LA would put a charge on the property which can only be removed by settling the loan which would have to be done before property sale. Who is going to be interested in buying a property with a charge on it?

As I see it the home are prepared to accept the LA rate, they don't have to inform the LA that when the property is sold and your mother becomes self funding you have agreed that you will backpay the shortfall.
There are no problems selling a property with a charge on it. It's standard procedure with local authorities when a client has to sell their home to pay fees (or in my case as a third party who would make the top ups from the sale of an asset). Providing there’s sufficient equity in the property to settle the charge, your solicitor would have the outstanding balance on the charging order paid from the equity you’ll get from the sale. then the body holding the charge will allow for the charge to be lifted so that you can complete the sale.

The only time you’ll have problems when selling property with a charge on it is when there isn’t sufficient equity to clear the outstanding charge order.

My mum won't be self-funding when the property is sold, as it isn't her property. I'll simply be paying the top ups from it. This was going to be a private arrangement with the care home but the local authority are attempting to block that, saying all top up agreements have to go through them and they will not accept my property as evidence I can afford the topups. I would have thought a private arrangement with a third party is just that, a private arrangement between myself and the care home.
 

Dave63

Registered User
Apr 13, 2022
483
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I have just had another telephone call from the local authority placement team still insisting on a forced discharge to a care home of their choice. This is a different care home, and it is also on my red list for being unsafe and unsuitable. They are insisting that my mother cannot choose her placement because this will delay hospital discharge. That is in fact incorrect because the care home I have been working with has said they can have a contract in place within a week. This is with a third party top up agreed privately with the care home.

The local authority has said that the third party top up has to be paid through them (not the care home) and that I have to show six months of bank statements to prove I can pay it. I cannot show the bank statements because the topup payments will be made through a property I put on the market today, the care home has already agreed a private deferred payment arrangement based on the property sale. However the local authority will not accept that if done through them - even though they enter into deferred payment arrangements readily if the client owns the property.

The position is that I'm being placed under undue pressure to accept a setting chosen by the local authority. We are having the right to choose removed from us. I also believe that I'm being placed under extreme duress now by the local authority. They cannot remove the right to choose and I also believe (from the care homes I've spoken to so far) that they cannot deny us the right to enter into a private deferred payment agreement with the care home directly.

Unfortunately my Covid infection is not improving and I'm very tired and struggling to function at the moment. The stress of this is affecting me very badly now, both mentally and physically.
Two immediate thoughts.
1. Update the MP on what you have been told today.
2. 'Policy' doesn't trump the statutory guidance (Annexe A) regarding choice of accommodation which they appear to be ignoring.

Regulation 3 of the guidance states:
This choice must not be limited to those settings or individual providers with which the local authority already contracts with or operates, or those that are within that local authority’s geographical boundary.


 
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maisiecat

Registered User
Oct 12, 2023
412
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I have just had another telephone call from the local authority placement team still insisting on a forced discharge to a care home of their choice. This is a different care home, and it is also on my red list for being unsafe and unsuitable. They are insisting that my mother cannot choose her placement because this will delay hospital discharge. That is in fact incorrect because the care home I have been working with has said they can have a contract in place within a week. This is with a third party top up agreed privately with the care home.

The local authority has said that the third party top up has to be paid through them (not the care home) and that I have to show six months of bank statements to prove I can pay it. I cannot show the bank statements because the topup payments will be made through a property I put on the market today, the care home has already agreed a private deferred payment arrangement based on the property sale. However the local authority will not accept that if done through them - even though they enter into deferred payment arrangements readily if the client owns the property.

The position is that I'm being placed under undue pressure to accept a setting chosen by the local authority. We are having the right to choose removed from us. I also believe that I'm being placed under extreme duress now by the local authority. They cannot remove the right to choose and I also believe (from the care homes I've spoken to so far) that they cannot deny us the right to enter into a private deferred payment agreement with the care home directly.

Unfortunately my Covid infection is not improving and I'm very tired and struggling to function at the moment. The stress of this is affecting me very badly now, both mentally and physically.
Are you in England? I am asking because I pay a third party top up on my husband. The contract on that is between me and the Care Home. The direct debit goes directly to the Care Home and is completely seperate from the money we pay to the LA .The only part the LA played was they die the due dligence on where the money that was mine had come from and if I could pay for 2 years.
 

AnneF

Registered User
Jul 13, 2023
145
0
Are you in England? I am asking because I pay a third party top up on my husband. The contract on that is between me and the Care Home. The direct debit goes directly to the Care Home and is completely seperate from the money we pay to the LA .The only part the LA played was they die the due dligence on where the money that was mine had come from and if I could pay for 2 years.
Yes, in England.

@Dave63 was very helpful with the information. I have reviewed the full government care legislation and Annexe A, Clause 29 states:

· agree with the third party paying the ‘top-up’ (if this is not the cared for person) and the provider that payment for the ‘top-up’ element can be made directly to the provider with the local authority paying the remainder. However, as stated earlier, this is not recommended.

So even though it is not recommended, it is commonplace and quite normal.

I have just had another phone call from the placement team telling me that they have their own local policy which is not to permit the third party to pay the top up to the provider directly. I told them that local policy cannot obviate the legislation. The placement officer told me that I would have to give them proof I could pay the top ups for two years, but it has to be in immediately available cash and not a deferred payment agreement on my property (which went on the market today). The care home was happy to enter into a deferred payment agreement with me, which is the basis I had been going on.

They have continued to pressure me to accept the placement they have sourced. They have said that I must put it in writing why I am rejecting it. I told them I should not have to do that because we have already chosen somewhere and agreed a way forward with the care home, but I was told it was due to pressure on the hospital system and they needed to get my mother out immediately.

I am feeling very stressed now. I feel they are operating a policy of attrition, just trying to wear me down.
 

Chaplin

Registered User
May 24, 2015
354
0
Bristol
Yes, in England.

@Dave63 was very helpful with the information. I have reviewed the full government care legislation and Annexe A, Clause 29 states:

· agree with the third party paying the ‘top-up’ (if this is not the cared for person) and the provider that payment for the ‘top-up’ element can be made directly to the provider with the local authority paying the remainder. However, as stated earlier, this is not recommended.

So even though it is not recommended, it is commonplace and quite normal.

I have just had another phone call from the placement team telling me that they have their own local policy which is not to permit the third party to pay the top up to the provider directly. I told them that local policy cannot obviate the legislation. The placement officer told me that I would have to give them proof I could pay the top ups for two years, but it has to be in immediately available cash and not a deferred payment agreement on my property (which went on the market today). The care home was happy to enter into a deferred payment agreement with me, which is the basis I had been going on.

They have continued to pressure me to accept the placement they have sourced. They have said that I must put it in writing why I am rejecting it. I told them I should not have to do that because we have already chosen somewhere and agreed a way forward with the care home, but I was told it was due to pressure on the hospital system and they needed to get my mother out immediately.

I am feeling very stressed now. I feel they are operating a policy of attrition, just trying to wear me down.
I know you are unwell but I know what I’d do now, contact your local media! If you know of a good journalist who’s covered issues with local care homes or the local authority that’s a good place to start. I know this sounds drastic but I really believe the Local Authority are putting undue pressure on you because you are rightly challenging them. Local authorities don’t want bad publicity but you articulate your case very well and they are not used to the public challenging them. Sometimes just the threat of it in an email to the Head of the Local Authority is often enough! I just hope common sense kicks in so your dear mum can leave hospital and move to a care home which best suits her needs.
 

AnneF

Registered User
Jul 13, 2023
145
0
Two immediate thoughts.
1. Update the MP on what you have been told today.
2. 'Policy' doesn't trump the statutory guidance (Annexe A) regarding choice of accommodation which they appear to be ignoring.

Regulation 3 of the guidance states:
This choice must not be limited to those settings or individual providers with which the local authority already contracts with or operates, or those that are within that local authority’s geographical boundary.


That's fantastic @Dave63 thank you so much.

I have quoted the legislation to the placement officer who phoned me about 20 minutes ago, but the conversation was very much the same as all prior conversations. I was instructed to email her a link to where I was drawing my information from, so I am guessing they are not particularly well versed on the law.

I updated the MP this morning.

I spent the entire day up and around and on the phone non-stop, which seems to be impacting my ability to recover from the Covid which I think is getting worse. I'm concerned because the local authority have told me they will be contacting me on Monday morning to tell me what is happening. That is not time enough for me to try to draw a large amount of cash from somewhere to prove I can make the top ups to them.
 

Louise7

Volunteer Host
Mar 25, 2016
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The placement officer told me that I would have to give them proof I could pay the top ups for two years, but it has to be in immediately available cash and not a deferred payment agreement on my property (which went on the market today).

I'm concerned because the local authority have told me they will be contacting me on Monday morning to tell me what is happening. That is not time enough for me to try to draw a large amount of cash from somewhere to prove I can make the top ups to them.

Hello @AnneF I'm not sure that the LA are expecting you to physically show them a large amount of cash to prove that you can afford top ups for two years. If you can provide them with a bank statement to show that you have the money in the bank and it is immediately accessible that should be sufficient. When Mum's care home asked for proof that there was money available to pay her fees for two years they accepted bank statements, they didn't expect the family to turn up with around £100k in cash to show them.

It sounds a complex situation but it might be worth contacting CareRights Uk for advice: https://www.carerightsuk.org/
 

AnneF

Registered User
Jul 13, 2023
145
0
I know you are unwell but I know what I’d do now, contact your local media! If you know of a good journalist who’s covered issues with local care homes or the local authority that’s a good place to start. I know this sounds drastic but I really believe the Local Authority are putting undue pressure on you because you are rightly challenging them. Local authorities don’t want bad publicity but you articulate your case very well and they are not used to the public challenging them. Sometimes just the threat of it in an email to the Head of the Local Authority is often enough! I just hope common sense kicks in so your dear mum can leave hospital and move to a care home which best suits her needs.
I will certainly be making a formal complaint to the CEO of the local authority - I'm staggered by their handling of this. Either their staff have no clue about the law, or are ignoring it.

The first couple of conversations were nothing but a repetitive round of the placement officer using the terms 'no' and 'you can't' and 'that's not how it works' and 'that's not how we do things'. She even denied the other care homes I mentioned when she told me contracts were not in place with them either - when they are.

I understand people make mistakes and legislation cannot always be remembered. But I was fed a bunch of lies

Every time I said that I felt we were being placed under undue pressure and even duress, I was given exactly the same line of "I'm sorry you feel we are pressuring you". If I hear that civil service guff one more time I will scream.

I have been repeatedly told they cannot keep my mother in hospital any longer and hence they are obliged to remove her. I was told that she is essentially a bed blocker and I have no right to insist the hospital keeps her. I have done no such thing, so this kind of guilt tripping is offensive. I have chosen a care home. The care home assessed my mother immediately and agreed to take her. The local authority contribution has been set out and accepted. I have agreed to top up the remainder. I have agreed to enter into a deferred payment agreement directly with the care home (because the local authority will not enter into such an agreement with the third party). The care home feels they can put a contract in place promptly. In my opinion I could not have been any more efficient.
 

AnneF

Registered User
Jul 13, 2023
145
0
Hello @AnneF I'm not sure that the LA are expecting you to physically show them a large amount of cash to prove that you can afford top ups for two years. If you can provide them with a bank statement to show that you have the money in the bank and it is immediately accessible that should be sufficient. When Mum's care home asked for proof that there was money available to pay her fees for two years they accepted bank statements, they didn't expect the family to turn up with around £100k in cash to show them.

It sounds a complex situation but it might be worth contacting CareRights Uk for advice: https://www.carerightsuk.org/
Yes, the local authority wants to see a bank statement showing 'available cash', not a suitcase full of notes (but I bet they would quite like that!).

It's not even their business when the arrangement would be between myself and the care home. However the local authority is saying I cannot pay the top ups to the provider, and the LA will not enter into a deferred payment agreement with me until the third party property sells (which the provider will). I feel it's very unreasonable for the local authority to deny me the option of working with the care home directly on the top ups, particularly when the legislation states that I am entitled to that choice. I do understand their argument as to why this is - the LA want to make sure that they do not end up footing the bill. I am cash poor but asset rich - I can demonstrate the property I am using to fund the topups is for sale, but that is not sufficient.

I am therefore under pressure to try and produce ready cash to pay the top ups immediately, going forward for two years, directly to the local authority. I can't do that. I might be able to come up with six months or perhaps even a year if I can shift or borrow some money to bridge the gap between now and the flat selling - but they did say they want proof of available cash for two years. That won't be an instant process either and even if feasible would probably take me at least a couple of weeks.

They are leaving me with nowhere to turn which I think is the intention. I think it is all about grinding me down to the point where I accept their placement, which I will not.

Thank you for the link, I'll have a good look at that.