The Competitions and Markets Authority published guidance for care home providers which is effective from November 2018. It sets out how care homes should approach contractual arrangements and the way they should treat their residents. It is directed at care homes for people over 65 to help them comply with consumer law.
We are often asked for advice by people in dispute with the care home on the issues covered by the guidance, including:
Contractual terms that qualify as “unfair” will not be legally enforceable. Unfair terms may include:
Care homes are reminded that they have an obligation to perform services with reasonable care and skill. Conduct likely to fall below this standard may include:
After a resident has died, the guidance states that fees should only be charged for a reasonable and short period following the death. This will be either up to three days or until their possessions are cleared from the room, with a ‘backstop’ period not exceeding ten days.
Complaints procedures need to be easy to find and use and there should be no retaliation by the care home when a complaint has been made. The guidance is clear that care homes should not obstruct the complaints procedure by pressuring someone to not complain or victimise complainants – e.g. by restricting visits by relatives or friends.
Alternative routes for complaints if dissatisfied:
The full advice runs to 147 pages but there is also a 24-page short guide for care homes on the government website.
If you think your care home has failed to follow the care home contracts guidance or if you are in dispute with a care home, contact us today on 01273 609911, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
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