Hilary Homfray joins Anthony Collins Solicitors after working for Birmingham City Council for 14 years. With more than 60,000 properties, she was kept busy!
The lack of government funding for social care is once again a headline topic and the pressure to fill the funding gap continues to fall on private (and often vulnerable) payers. Questions are now being asked about whether those individuals are being provided value for money or falling victim to emotional pressures and entering into unfair contracts. The CMA is aware that “the need to find a care home can come at a distressing time” and has already flagged issues of concern where residents may have experienced:
- unexplained or ‘hidden’ charges;
- unexpected fee increases;
- confusing requests for ‘top-up’ payments; and
- a failure to deal with complaints fairly.
We’re likely to see commentary around the appropriateness of deposit protection schemes (which don’t apply to care home residents unless they have an assured shorthold tenancy), additional costs for hospital visits, chiropody or group activities and charging 100% fees when a resident is absent for a period of time e.g. in hospital.
If you haven’t already considered your care contracts in light of the Act, now is the time to review your standard terms and understand your customers’ expectations.
The good news is that “the market study will also evaluate the effectiveness of competition between care homes in driving quality and value for money for residents and taxpayers. It will also consider how local authorities and other public bodies purchase and assign care home places, and how they encourage and shape local supply.” We know that our clients have lots to say on local authorities’ market shaping duties and you can respond to the market study here.
For more information
 On Friday 2 December 2016 - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cma-launches-review-of-uk-care-and-nursing-homes
The use of large up-front fees and disproportionate deposits has already resulted in significant cost consequences for one care provider.
The government announced on 16 May that it will provide a fund of £400m to cover the costs of removal and replacement of cladding to high rise residential blocks which have failed tests.
Whilst some people are under the impression that preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is simply a case of completing a form and ticking a few boxes, it is about far more than this.
A big fear for some people facing divorce and the inevitable carving up of the matrimonial assets. They seek assurances that such assets will be “ring-fenced” and retained for them.
Thinking about the legal status of being a cohabitant probably isn’t at the top of the ‘to do’ list.
When an individual is thinking about making a gift to another individual, consideration needs to be given to the Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET) trap.
We are now only a few weeks away from the biggest change to data protection laws in over 20 years. Are you compliant?
The tragedy, in this case, is that there were options readily available to the midwives that they could have used. This was not a case of having to go above and beyond.
Arising from the recent Family Division announcement, people who think they are legally divorced may in fact still be married.
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