A recent documentary by the BBC has again highlighted the crisis facing residents and their families, of local authority care homes or care at home. Panorama’s investigation covered the failing system and how it is letting down more and more people across the country. In particular, they focused on the fact that whilst the NHS should pay for Continuing HealthCare, known as CHC, in reality, they consistently:
Fail to do annual reviews
Fail to tell people CHC exists
Even when people find out, they make it very difficult to qualify for.
Unfortunately, if you have lost capacity the only way to make sure the local authority will listen to your family is if they have a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare and you’ve appointed attorneys to make decisions on your behalf. The LPA for Health & Welfare is for personal decisions, including anything to do with care, funding of care and decisions regarding medical and life-sustaining treatments. Without an LPA, the only way to have someone appointed to make decisions for you is through a Deputyship Application to the Court of Protection which is likely to take 6-9 months, cost £2,500-£3,000 and could result in someone you don’t know being appointed to make decisions for you!
Lasting Powers of Attorney, in general, allow you to appoint the people that you want, that you know will make the same decisions for you that you would make for yourself and prevent local authorities and medical professionals making decisions unchallenged.
Age UK has reported that by 2030, 1 in 5 people within the UK will be over 65, meaning the need for care for individuals will be higher than ever. Worries about paying for care fees is rife throughout the UK but many family members are not aware of the NHS Continuing Healthcare that is available to certain individuals.
Long-term care can end up costing £150,000 or more and can easily cost families their inheritance. However, with the right planning, you can legitimately mitigate or completely avoid care fees.
We work with specialist care advisors who can help you to make applications for CHC and reclaim care fees which have been incorrectly charged by the local authority. In a recent case, they obtained a refund of £65,000 for the mother of one of our clients.
For more information on any of the issues above please call us free on 0800 781 6658 or send us a question through our online form by clicking here.
Main image – BBC Panorama: Crisis in Care – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0005qqr