Sunrise Care Home Residents To Receive Refunds For 'Up Front' Fees
The Law Of…Refunding Unfair Care Fees
After charging thousands of pounds of unfair 'upfront fees' to its elderly residents, care provider Sunrise have been required to pay out more than £2 million in refunds.
James Urquhart-Burton, Care Homes Claims Partner, explains the story.
The Sunrise Case
The typical amount residents were expected to pay when moving into a Sunrise care home was roughly £4,500. The refund, per individual, is estimated at around £3,000. In total, Sunrise is expected to pay out roughly £2 million in compensation.
These 'up-front' fees were expected to be paid by prospective residents before they had even secured a place at the home.
On the nature of the fees, Chief Executive at Sunrise Dr Natalie-Jane Macdonald, said this to the BBC:
"We previously charged an up-front community fee, which helped maintain the outstanding facilities and communal areas that our residents expect and enjoy,"
"However, we have agreed with the CMA that residents who stayed with us for shorter than average periods were not able to enjoy as much of the benefit of our facilities as residents who are with us for a longer time."
The case was brought about by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), who are currently in the midst of an on-going investigation into the way in which care homes charge their residents.
The CMA, upon closer inspection of Sunrise, felt that their descriptions of 'upfront fees' could come across as unclear to prospective residents, and decided to act.
Difficulties With Negations
One member of the public, who chose to remain unnamed in her statement to the BBC, explained that her own ordeal with Sunrise was very stressful. She explained that when trying to move two relatives into one of their care homes, Sunrise requested £5000 per relative up-front.
She stated that "Negotiations with Sunrise were almost impossible. They were almost entirely inflexible and although they have agreed to a 'fixed fee', the contract says they can change their minds whenever they want with 30 days' notice."
"Respite for two weeks for the two of them is costing just over £4,000 - a huge amount of money for people who have worked hard and been careful all their lives."
"Sunrise offer such superior care and environments to other homes, you feel a pressure to try and get them in there. It has been exhausting and emotional for me to organise, to say the very least."
Have You Been Wrongfully Charged For Care?
Our expert solicitors understand that being overcharged for care, or not receiving the government funded care you are entitled to, can be very stressful – both for you and your family.
If you or a relative have been required to wrongfully pay up-front fees, or have some other care homes fees query, contact a member of our Care Homes Claims team today.
You can get in touch using our freephone number, or by dropping us a secure E-message using our online enquiry form.