Ashleigh Woodward of Watkins & Gunn Solicitors reports on the new deadline for recovering care home fees.
The Welsh Government has recently announced a new deadline for all retrospective claims for recovering wrongly paid care home fees of the 31st October 2016. Any potential claim for NHS Continuing Healthcare for patients that were resident in a care home in Wales between 1st October 2014 and 30th October 2015 must be registered with their local Health Board by this date. Failure to do so will result in the right to make a claim being lost.
So if you, or a family member, paid care fees within this period due to physical or mental health reasons, but you think that you should have been eligible for fully funded NHS Continuing Healthcare, you must register your claim before the end of October. “NHS Continuing Healthcare” means care funded by the NHS for individuals with primary health needs. It is not means tested and is provided regardless of a patient’s means and whether they can afford to pay for their care.
If a patient has been incorrectly assessed that can lead to the patients or their families having to wrongly pay the very expensive care home fees and even sell their home. As an indication of the scale of the issue, we have recovered over a quarter of a million pounds in wrongly paid care home fees for our clients over the last 12 months alone.
It is important to note that if you register a claim, this does not mean that you are obligated to pursue it. The main thing is to ensure that your interest in a potential claim is registered by 31st October 2016. If you decide not to pursue a claim after this date then you can simply inform the Health Board of your decision and they will disregard the claim.
To register potential claims contact a specialist as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can contact your local Health Board (I would recommend that you do so both via post and telephone to properly safeguard your interests) to register and then contact a solicitors at a later date with proof of registration.
But remember… you must act quickly or lose the right to claim!
Ashleigh Woodward is a specialist in care home fee recovery and can be contacted for more information or to register a claim on 01633 241160