Stopping payment for care home temporarily

All about money
Mum self funds a place in a lovely care home, via the local council, to the tune of £1850 a month. No problem with this, she was getting the care she needed and all was well.
One month ago, she fell and broke her leg, nasty break and she's now been put into intermediate care by the NHS as her current care home cannot meet her needs during the recovery process. Now the problem we have is that this is the third break in the same leg in the past few years. Each time it has taken between nine and twelve months for her to recover to a weight bearing status. Therefore we can assume that she's now older, osteoporosis has done her no favours and she's not going to be going back into her current care home for at least twelve months, if at all - they might not be able to meet her needs at all, if she cannot support her weight and mobilise.

Herein lies the issue, the home want us to give up her place, so they can use it for someone else, we want to give up her place as it gives us £20,000 ish towards her future care needs yet we're being told that we can't do this and would be prosecuted if we stop paying.

Has anyone any advice?

Thanks.
Yes, ask for a copy of the contract that was signed when she went into the home, and stop paying immediately until they produce it, at very least.
In any case, as mum can't use the room, the contract should be null and void on the grounds of "frustration".
Contract law was one of my favourite subjects in my degree!!
Hi Tim,
Care providers can give residents 28 days notice and evict them. This has happened to several of my friend's sons (complex needs, autism, learning disability and behaviour considered challenging.) Therefore, the home need to evict your Mum. This then isn't your fault, so I don't see how you could be prosecuted. Obviously you'd need this in writing from the home.

Check the terms and conditions of the home, there might be a clause in there that is relay to your Mum's situation.

I'm not a legal expert however, so I think you should seek advice, I believe solicitors give the first half hour if advice for free?

Melly1

Bump BB
After she died, my mum's home only charged me for the 2 days it took to empty the room. Fees paid in advance were refunded properly. While mum's stuff is still in the room it cannot be given to someone else. Maybe this is something to consider?
Tim, like BB has already said, you need a copy of the original contract. Be careful about stopping payment before you see it, as sometimes ( all contracts are personalised so different ) further costs can be incurred. NOT always but something you should check 1st. No one has a crystal ball so we can only deal with the here and now.

I am posting below several parts of my hubbys contract, so you have something to compare with. Please note his care and placement are covered under CHC.
I know you have a journey ahead of you re mams recovery, but when she is ready for discharge, ask for a CHC checklist to be done whilst she is in the hospital.

.
If the Service user fails to pay a bill within 14 days of the due date or 14 days from the date of the bill ( whichever is the later), then the Nursing home reserves the right to recover interest at a rate of 4% above the base rate of ****** bank calculated from the date of the bill until the date of payment.
If the service user is admitted to hospital, the home will retain the room for 6 weeks and thereafter upon request provided always tha the normal weekly fee is paid
Termination section
If not terminated within the trial period then this Agreement shall continue in force until terminated by the death of the service user, or by 4 weeks notice in writing being given of the desire to terminate this arrangement. The home shall give any such notice to the service user and to the authorities as appropiate
Melly covered this
The service user may give any such notice to the nursing home, if it is understood with professionals that said home would no longer be able to meet his/her needs now or in future.
In the event of death, 3 days fees will be due and after this period the agreement will terminate. It is requested that service users room be cleared within said 3 days, however if this not possible arrangements can be made for staff to clear the room and items stored at the home for 7 days.
Covered by BB

Tim, please don't read above as gospel as your mams agreement will differ but posting it as a bit of a guideline for you to see what happens in other areas.

Wishing mam well in her recovery and to you too sorting these issues.

x x
Many thanks for your replies folks. It's good to have other people's input and support.

Mum's place was sorted by the local authority, but after a financial assessment she was deemed able to self fund, so that's what happens. The authority pay the care home and we pay the authority. I'm assuming that mum's payment is a contribution and that the authority are funding some of the total.

I'm not aware of there ever being a contract, so wouldn't know who to ask for a copy of it. I guess I should start with the authority finance department?
Tim ... there MUST BE a contract !

After all , if there isn't , there would be no obligations on anyone involved ... beyond a verbal understanding ?

Interesting take from WHICH on this aspect ... worth a read :

https://www.caremanagementmatters.co.uk ... contracts/

An extract :

Care homes are failing to provide contracts and may be breaking the law by neglecting to tell residents and their families about important terms and conditions, a Which? investigation into care home contracts has found.

The consumer watchdog contacted 50 homes on the premise of looking for care for an elderly relative and requested documents including a sample contract – but fewer than one in 10 provided the information.

Which?’s investigators received four contracts – three of which included terms that could be considered unfair to residents – including charging fees for a month after death and the right to terminate a contract with 24-hours notice for undefined 'detrimental behaviour'.


Yep ... start with the LA.
It would be a good idea to talk to the Care Quality Commission about what the home are telling you. One of their basic requirements always used to be a brochure/handbook given to every prospective resident, laying out not just basic charges, but hairdressing, trips out etc.
Trading Standards might also be able to help, I read an article they wrote a few years ago on the subject of contracts etc.
bowlingbun wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:46 am
It would be a good idea to talk to the Care Quality Commission about what the home are telling you. One of their basic requirements always used to be a brochure/handbook given to every prospective resident, laying out not just basic charges, but hairdressing, trips out etc.
Trading Standards might also be able to help, I read an article they wrote a few years ago on the subject of contracts etc.
We were given a brochure like you mentioned, along with a 5 page contract. Hubbys home has changed hands and the new care company in charge has just taken all families through a new contract. Home has a copy, myself and local authority. This happened just last week, that's how I had it to hand last night to post a few sections.

Regardless who is paying the fees, a contract is a must. Check with the admin staff too at the home Tim and request a copy.

x x
Ok, have spoken to a few folk this morning:
The Finance dept of the LA are sympathetic and are going to look into it and get back to me.

Went down to the home, who are being helpful and understand what I'm trying to achieve, but their contract is with the LA.

Also spoke to the Intermediate care team, who are currently responsible for mum (she's been put in another home that she has been to before when she broke her leg last time), they are telling me that we must continue to pay for the redundant place at least until she has been assessed for recovery and rehab as the ideal outcome is that she can go back there.

Obviously that's exactly what we want, but don't want to have paid £1850 a month, for possibly 6 to 12 months and then find that she can't return there as they don't offer nursing care and can't cope with her if her mobility is impaired - to waste that amount and to deprive someone else of a place just seems daft to me.