Chris Milne, a partner in the Private Client Department of leading Worcestershire-based law firm Harrison Clark LLP looks at the issues surrounding funding for care.
“For the chance to have your care fees met by the Health Service rather than by your family or out of your own pocket just make sure that you live in the right part of the country.
“The NHS has a Continuing Healthcare National Framework which was introduced to provide consistency throughout the country when it comes to what types of care count as "social" (to be paid for by the individual, or the Local Authority if the individual passes the means test) or "medical" (to be paid for by the NHS).
“Figures for the three months after these new guidelines were introduced show that the differences across the country in who qualifies for healthcare funding, remain huge. Age Concern have recently challenged the Government on this and at Harrison Clark we are aware of cases where the guidelines are still being applied inconsistently.”
Chris, who is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly, continues,
"it is so frustrating when you advise clients as to what they should expect from the rules but the Health Authority then apply them with their own interpretation".
"We have a case at the moment where a gentleman was in a nursing home for 5 years leading up to his death. He had a history of unpredictable TIAs (mini strokes), arthritis, dementia, oesophagitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, was doubly incontinent and needed medication for psychosis and help with his mobility and breathing and yet his Health Authority would not pay for his care. On the other hand, in a case reported in the Daily Express in April, a lady who had dementia, Parkinson's Disease, angina, diabetes, deafness and osteoporosis, has had her fees paid for her."
Research by Saga has revealed that the future average cost of a four year stay in a care home could double from £112,312 to £223,476 in the next two decades. With life expectancy increasing (on average a male aged 60 today is expected to live for a further 26 years and a female for a further 29 years) more people will be likely to require long term care.
Chris says "with the supposedly national guidelines being applied inconsistently by the Government, these significant care costs are having to be met by more individuals just because of where they live".
"It is becoming more and more important to consider the possible payment of care fees when planning your future finances. At Harrison Clark, we have a team of people who make a point of advising our clients on these issues as well as on the usual areas of Will making and inheritance tax planning".
"When it comes to paying unnecessarily for care, make sure it won't be you!"
For further information on this article please contact Chris Milne at Harrison Clark LLP on 01905 612001 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively you can contact Angela Baker at Marketing IQ on Tel: 01905 359475 or e-mail: email@example.com
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