600 claims still await care homes fee recovery In North Yorkshire alone
The NHS has apologised over major delays processing claims seeking to recover care home fees
that should have been met by the NHS. Solicitors handling care home fees have criticised the delays, pointing out that interest is continually 'clocking up' on fees that the NHS has agreed to refund.
Not even half of claims dealt with
By October 2012, around 900 claims were filed in North Yorkshire
and now in January 2014, 600 of them still remain. In response, the NHS is looking for outside help with the backlog in a contract worth up to £600,000.
Janet Probert is responsible for the management of services for vulnerable people in NHS North Yorkshire. Janet issued the following apology:
"I would like to apologise to patients and families who have experienced a delay in their claim being processed
, but also offer reassurance that we are doing everything we can to make improvements and ensure that claims are processed as quickly as possible."
Janet Cooper at Simpson Millar LLP Solicitors comments, "Many families are left out of pocket for many years after having wrongfully paid for care
. If it transpires following a successful claim that the NHS should have paid for those fees
then those families are entitled to a payment interest on the refund. The more time that passes, the greater the interest, so it is very much in the NHS's interests to deal with the claims swiftly."
Where did the delays come from?
Many people are thought to have wrongly paid for care home fees. This is because those with a primary need for healthcare should be eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare
, which can include the funding of care home fees.
To see whether you're eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare, you need an assessment. Rulings by the Court of Appeal and Health Services Ombudsman
stated that Primary Care Trusts did not apply eligibility criteria consistently which resulted in many families being wrongly charged
for care home fees.
A large amount of claims have been filed on the belief that the assessment was carried out incorrectly
, and the sheer lack of resources in the NHS has resulted in significant delays in handling the claims.
The Department of Health have also imposed very tight deadlines, meaning that many had a very tight time window to file a claim
, leading to many claims being filed at once to avoid missing out in receiving the sometimes six figure pay-outs for wrongly paid for care home fees
. The amount recovered of course depends on the amount paid out incorrectly, which can add up over a period of many years.