Following on from my article last week (Always Read the Small Print – Part 1) Part 2 looks at more of the essential information you need and which any care provider should be happy to give you.
This information should be easily available to you from the start either on the website or included in information packs. It should be given to you by the care provider in good time for you to be able to consider it before you agree to have a care needs assessment.
What should this additional information include?
Here are some of the key points:
- Information about any trial period offered and the circumstances in which you might be asked to leave, or your contract terminated.
- The standard terms and conditions you will be asked to sign up to if you are paying for your own care (“self-funder”).
Being asked to leave a care home
The care home should clearly explain, the reasons why it might need to ask you to leave and set these out in your contract. There must be valid reasons which may include the following:
- The care provider can no longer meet your care needs, even after making reasonable adjustments.
- You have repeatedly not paid your fees and you have large arrears. If this is due to hardship, then they should contact Adult Social Care and the NHS to see if you might be eligible for financial support.
- The care provider should not ask you to leave without first consulting you, anyone assisting you, and other relevant independent professionals.
- You should be given at least 28 days’ written notice to leave.
Terms and conditions
If you’re paying for your own care, there will be a contract between you and the care provider. The terms and conditions in that contract must be written simply, clearly, avoiding jargon and be fair, so that you can easily understand your rights and responsibilities.
If a term in a contract is unfair, it will not be valid, and the care provider cannot hold you to it. Unfair terms include those which put you, or the person who signs the contract on your behalf, at an unfair disadvantage.
Unfair terms and conditions may include the following:
- Holding you to ‘hidden’ terms that you have not had the chance to read and understand.
- Do not hold the care home responsible if things go wrong and even if it is their fault.
- Require fees to continue to be paid for extended periods after a resident has died.
- Allows the care home to make unexpected changes to your fees.
- Requires any upfront payments, unless it is a fair deposit or an advance payment of the regular residential fees.
Once the provider has assessed your care needs and you have chosen the services you want, it must confirm the final amount you’ll have to pay, including the final total weekly fee rate in writing. You should be given enough time to consider the final offer before you accept it.
If you would like any support in this process then do contact us for a free initial consultation.