1. Anongirl

    Anongirl Registered User

    Aug 8, 2012
    My mum is in an assessment unit at the local hospital where she has been since September.

    Recently I met with a social worker who gave me a list of suitable nursing homes for mum. There were 6 of them. Every one of them want a top up.

    I'm not prepared to enter into an agreement to pay a top up. It's worrying me sick. It sounds like a minefield. They could basically charge me anything they want and I simply can't take that financial responsibility.

    So my question is can I refuse to pay a top up and if I do what happens when every suitable care home is asking for one?

  2. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    Go back to your SW and remind them of Sec 12 of Annexe A of the Statutory Guidance of the Care Act 2014.........

    A person must not be asked to pay a ‘top-up’ towards the cost of their accommodation because of market inadequacies or commissioning failures and must ensure there is a genuine choice. The local authority therefore must ensure that at least one option is available that is affordable within a person’s personal budget and should ensure that there is more than one. If no preference has been expressed and no suitable accommodation is available at the amount identified in a personal budget, the local authority must arrange care in a more expensive setting and adjust the budget accordingly to ensure that needs are met. In such circumstances, the local authority must not ask for the payment of a ‘top-up’ fee. Only when a person has chosen a more expensive accommodation can a ‘top-up’ payment be sought.

  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    The social worker will have to find a suitable home that doesn't ask for a top-up. It's that straightforward. Do bear in mind though that "suitable" in this context might not mean "what you would wish for". The home has to meet your mother's needs and you can definitely argue if it's so far away that you would find it hard to visit, but that's about it.

    You weren't given any options which could take your mother without a top-up? If so, the social worker has completely misunderstood the requirements as Pete R has pointed out. The regulations aren't optional, they are a legal requirement,
  4. Anongirl

    Anongirl Registered User

    Aug 8, 2012
    Thank you Pete! That's really helpful.

    Jennifer, she put a star next to the homes on the list which are suitable for mum. Of the six only one didn't ask for a top up. Even when I went to visit that home they said they would "have to introduce a top up very soon". I looked at the others on the list and almost all of them had "top up" written next to them.

    The CQC reports are certainly less than desirable anyway so why would anyone pay a top up for a nursing home which is below par anyway?! I feel very disheartened right now :(
  5. nellen

    nellen Registered User

    Mar 17, 2009
    Hi Anongirl I've written of the saga of my experience getting a suitable carehome for my on this forum and I hope It will help you
    My mum went into a nursing home in September this year. I got very little help from the hospital social work team who basically referred my to a agency who finds carehomes for you and their priority seemed to be to push me to make a decision as soon as possible regardless of whether It suited my mum or not. Because she'd been very ill and in hospital for three months I wanted to get her out of the hospital environment as soon as I could and I got mum into the only home in her town that fitted the criteria and had vacancies but the fly in the ointment was that the top up fees were £400 as week!! Mum has no property to sell or savings , she lived in council houses and my parents didn't ever earn much money.

    We had enough to pay for about 10 weeks for my mum at this home, so I got onto the social services and kept onto them til I got mum as social worker who helped me find somewhere else - one that was being refurbished in September when I was initially looking, he liaised with the manager of both homes to get mum moved. The top up at this new one is £80 a week and he told me that as there is nowhere else suitable in mums town that fits the criteria for her the social service are paying it!! This home isntanyworse or better than the expensive one. It scores 4 out of 5 points on the care quality commission inspection website and the expensive on 3 out of 5.
  6. Anongirl

    Anongirl Registered User

    Aug 8, 2012
    Thanks Nellen, I'll have a read of your saga!

    I spoke to the Social Worker, she said she totally understands my reasons for not wanting to pay a top up. She said care homes can pretty much charge what they want because they know there is a shortage of places.

    I feel disheartened reading the CQC reports because so many are in need of improvement. One mentioned there had been complaints of people not being cared for properly. I would have sleepless nights worrying about her!

    Her name is down at a place that falls down on cleanliness but the care is good. This is how bad things are! I don't want to compromise but even if she was at an expensive home there's no guarantees. One near us which is amazing to look at and gets a good CQC report was in the news for a career being cruel to residents.

    Totally disillusioned :rolleyes:
  7. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Anongirl, I'm sorry you are in such a predicament - I just want you to know that there are good homes out there with lovely, caring, professional staff - I was chatting to a senior today at dad's care home, and she was upset about something (nothing untoward). She said 'I want all the residents treated as though they are my grandparents' and truly, that is how she does treat them, with respect and gentleness.
    So I hope that you too find a way through the finance issues (I agree that expensive is not always best - dad is not in the most expensive or fancy home I looked at) and are able to settle your mum into a caring home.

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