- Rosemary Hanlon’s family returned £6,300 in overpaid nursing fees.
- They paid £80 a month in additional contributions to her nursing home for six years.
- But Mrs Hanlon is eligible for ongoing NHS health care funding.
- This meant that no additional fees had to be paid, but her family was not told about it.
Rosemary Hanlon pictured with her late second husband Malcolm, who her family says was “the love of her life.”
The family of an 82-year-old woman with dementia has secured a refund for her care bills after she paid £80 a month unnecessarily for six years.
Rosemary Hanlon, who lives at the Anchorage Nursing Home in Hoylake, Wirral, was eligible for full NHS funding due to her deteriorating health in 2016.
Prior to this, she was funded by the local government and paid extra to fill a gap the council did not fund, although she did not receive an upgrade to her room or services.
After that, her family continued to pay extra on her behalf, not realizing that the NHS would cover the bills for every aspect of her care that she deemed necessary.
The discrepancy was discovered by the new owner of the nursing home after he changed hands earlier in the year, and for the past month, Mrs. Hanlon’s family has been trying to claim a refund on her behalf.
Her daughter, Annabelle Collins, contacted This is Money after new owner RSJB Quality Care Homes immediately agreed to refund the £320 but said he was only responsible for the overpayment as he took over in April.
Meanwhile, the previous owner, whose current business operates as The Old Garden in Hoylake, Wirral, replied that she was on vacation and would be in touch upon her return.
After we asked both nursing home owners for comment, The Old Garden paid Mrs Hanlon £6,000 but did not respond to us. The RSJB statement is below.
This case highlights the need for the families of those on full NHS funding to make sure they are not paying for anything that is already covered – Mrs Hanlon’s family told us they want to mark it if it helps others.
“We feel like we had to fight and fight for my mom’s interests throughout her illness. A fight that shouldn’t have happened,” says Mrs Collins, whose mother was diagnosed with dementia praecox at 64.
She paid tribute to her by saying, “My mother is a special person. I know a lot of people say that about their moms. This time it is indeed her true reflection. She raised four children when our father left her with four children under the age of six.
“Why did we decide to challenge the system on its behalf, you ask? We are doing this for our mother, who is still physically with us, but whose love, support, and true self were lost to us when she was overwhelmed by this cruel disease. We know that she knows how much she is loved.
Ms Collins says her family wanted to go public with their story to warn people whose relatives receive permanent NHS health care who may not know what the funding should cover and unnecessarily pay the extra costs.
Does your relative receive NHS CHC?
Do you mistakenly pay extra to the nursing home for everything NHS funded?
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She says of wage rules: “Someone should have told us this many years ago.”
Mrs Collins and her family filed a complaint with NHS Cheshire and Merseyside stating that they did not tell them what fees would apply in the future when the NHS CHC was awarded.
In their complaint, they say: “The funding and care of our mother was not discussed with us. We were also not given advice on what she pays for and what she is not responsible for.
“If there had been an assessment, it would have been noted that she was paying an additional fee, which is contrary to the National Framework.”
People with serious illnesses can receive treatment fees 100 percent funded by the NHS, although estimates and bureaucracy can be tricky.
James Urquhart-Burton, Partner at Ridley & Hall Solicitors and Care Financing Expert, explains here how to apply for NHS CHC and how to appeal if you’ve been denied here.
He says of Ms. Hanlon’s case: “The NHS NHS should be provided free of charge, and by law it is the responsibility of the relevant NHS authority.
“The issue of co-payments usually arises when a person wants to move (or is already living) in a nursing home that costs more than the NHS considers necessary to meet the needs of the person.
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“The NHS National Continuing Care Scheme says CHC funding ‘topping up’ is unacceptable to meet an individual’s assessed needs.”
He continued: “The care contract should confirm the obligations of the nursing home to the user of the services, but, in my opinion, the Integrated Care Council (which, of course, was …
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