At least 15,000 sick Britons ‘wrongly denied’ funding for care homes in the past decade

HomeHealth

At least 15,000 sick Britons ‘wrongly denied’ funding for care homes in the past decade

At least 15,000 sick and elderly Britons have been wrongly denied state funding for care home places in the past decade, a nationwide analysis has fou

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At least 15,000 sick and elderly Britons have been wrongly denied state funding for care home places in the past decade, a nationwide analysis has found – forcing their families to needlessly fork out a total of £30 million.

It also revealed that most of those initially told by local NHS bosses they were ineligible for residential care funding were suffering life-limiting illnesses such as dementia.

In many cases, residents or their family members have been forced to sell their homes to foot the eye-watering bills, which can reach £6,000 a month.

Former RAF pilot Eric Halloway, 69, who has Alzheimer’s disease and is unable to communicate, incontinent and in pain, was forced to sell his home when, in 2012, Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group refused to fund residential care.

But after eight years of appeals, an Independent Review Panel ruled in his family’s favour earlier this year and ordered health chiefs to pay more than £170,000 in compensation – all care fees, plus interest.

At least 15,000 sick and elderly Britons have been wrongly denied state funding for care home places in the past decade, a nationwide analysis has found (file photo)

At least 15,000 sick and elderly Britons have been wrongly denied state funding for care home places in the past decade, a nationwide analysis has found (file photo) 

It also revealed that most of those initially told by local NHS bosses they were ineligible for residential care funding were suffering life-limiting illnesses such as dementia (file photo)

It also revealed that most of those initially told by local NHS bosses they were ineligible for residential care funding were suffering life-limiting illnesses such as dementia (file photo) 

Older people with continuing healthcare needs are entitled to state-funded residential care, according to Government legislation.

Yet the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England and Wales that decide who is eligible are too often rejecting individuals on the grounds they are ‘not ill enough’, as stated in legal reports seen by law firm Hugh James.

The company, which specialises in the recovery of care home fees, analysed successful legal claims made against the NHS since 2012. Out of more than 50,000 appeals against denial of care home fees, 15,000 led to reimbursements.

But the firm suggests that many more of the 440,000 Britons who fund their own care could be entitled to NHS support and are eligible for compensation.

Despite an increase in people coming forward to seek compensation for care home fees since 2012, the success rate remains a postcode lottery.

In many cases, residents or their family members have been forced to sell their homes to foot the eye-watering bills, which can reach £6,000 a month (file photo)

In many cases, residents or their family members have been forced to sell their homes to foot the eye-watering bills, which can reach £6,000 a month (file photo) 

Over the past eight years, North Cumbria CCG has paid out in three-quarters of appeals, whereas Bedfordshire CCG has compensated just three per cent of families who complained.

Lisa Morgan, head of nursing care at Hugh James, said: ‘People are being denied their legal right, just because they live in the wrong area.’

Yet Ms Morgan says the overall number of successful claims proves that ‘victory is possible for families that never should have been burdened with nursing care fees’.

Mr Halloway’s son Richard said: ‘My father spent 22 years in the RAF – it was wrong that he had to use his savings to fund his care.

‘This process has taken eight years to complete. I urge other families not to be swayed by the system.’

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