'Cover up' over NHS care home fees compensation


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The Independent Online

Relatives of care home residents this week accused the Government of "covering up" a compensation scheme for victims of mistakes made by NHS trusts over care home fees.

It is estimated that millions of pounds have been set aside but people are unaware of the scheme because it has not been well publicised.

The solicitor Andrew Farley said: "The NHS is only fulfilling its minimum obligation to communicate the policy – putting it on a single page of its enormous website.

"This is a national disgrace, and if the Government is to avoid being accused of a cover-up it has to give the NHS the resources it needs to communicate this policy effectively."

Many people have been forced to sell their home to pay for their care even though they were entitled to full funding.

But time is now running out for families of victims with just weeks left to claim under the scheme. A new deadline of 31 March has been set by the Department of Health for families to lodge a claim to recover care home fees spent between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2012.

"We estimate the Government had earmarked at least £10m for the relatives of victims but we believe they are quietly satisfied at the relatively slow take – thanks to a strategy of trying to keep the issue low profile," said Mr Farley, of Farley Dwek solicitors. "If your relative was rejected for funding on financial eligibility alone then they should challenge the decision immediately."

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