When it comes to making arrangements for long-term care you may feel as though you need additional help and advice navigating the services available. OpenDoor can help point you in the right direction and ensure you get all the help you’re entitled to.
In times of need or crisis it can be difficult to understand the range of benefits and services available to you and the issues and consequences surrounding each one.
Many of the benefits and services that you may be eligible for, such as NHS funding for care home fees; require complex assessments with professionals from different backgrounds.
This can be a difficult process to deal with, as assessments can frequently be inadequate or incomplete. It is vital that you fully understand the processes which should be followed and the options which are available to you to ensure the correct outcome is achieved.
OpenDoor can help and advise you on your circumstances, providing expert guidance and support throughout to ensure you receive the help and financial support you’re entitled to..
There has been a lot of publicity regarding this. You may be aware that a cap of £72,000 has now been introduced by the Care Act 2014. Whilst this was scheduled to come into law on 1st April 2016 the Government is likely to delay this – possibly until 2020.
Anyone who wishes the cap to apply to them will now have to have an initial assessment by their Local Authority, as the relevant Local Authorities will be responsible for monitoring the rate at which an individual progresses towards the level of the cap. This means that Local Authority’s will now have to ensure that they assess all self-funded care home residents who previously may not have wanted or needed Local Authority involvement.
Once an individual has been assessed, the Local Authority will determine the proportion of the care home fees which will constitute the ‘care’ element and which will count towards the cap figure. They will only base this figure on the amount, which the Local Authority would usually pay for care, which is usually far, less than the average privately paid care home rate.
A sum of up to £12,000 per year will be disregarded for ‘hotel’ costs (daily living expenses such as food & utilities).
In reality the cap on care home fees is not likely to make a significant financial difference to the vast majority of care home residents, and introduces many new responsibilities for already over-stretched Local Authorities together with many new areas of potential disagreement.
For a very reasonable cost (usually less than one – two weeks of care home fees) OpenDoor can provide you with clear, bespoke advice as to your legal and financial position and provide you with certainty as to the effect the new legislation will have upon you or your loved one.
The Health and Social care system is extremely complex to navigate, especially during a period of crisis. It can be extremely difficult to understand what decisions have to be made and the consequences that may follow on from these decisions.
Our service has proved invaluable to our clients, as we are able to help them understand the choices that are available and the help to which they are entitled.
There are many occasions when our assistance has ensured that our clients are in a much better financial position, for example when we have identified incidences of procedural irregularity during financial or clinical assessments. Sometimes this has resulted in savings of tens or, in extreme cases, hundreds of thousands of pounds. On other occasions it is not money at stake, but the quality or quantity of services that are being provided.
Other times we are simply able to spend time with clients to explain in detail why the Local Authority or NHS has acted in the way they have, and to reassure clients that they are being treated correctly. This will often alleviate any stress or frustration, which may be building up as clients try to battle against a system they find difficult to understand.
There are very many Health or Social Care assessments, which may take place as care needs increase, and it can be difficult to understand the purpose of assessments and how important the results of these assessments can be.
Significant assessments are those carried out by the Local Authority to assess your care needs and whether you should pay for these; also assessments by the NHS for Continuing Healthcare and Funded Nursing Care.
It is human nature for us to answer “I’m fine” when asked how we are, but this can lead to our needs not being fully understood or met in the way they should be and so it is crucial that any assessments are accurate to ensure the right outcome.
OpenDoor can ensure that you understand the relevance and importance of any upcoming assessments, and are fully prepared for these. We can even arrange advocacy support from independent Social Workers and Nurse Assessors who can support you.
It can be difficult and time consuming to appeal against erroneous assessments so it is far better to do your best to ensure that the assessment is accurate in the first place.
In the first instance, please contact the person who is managing your matter, or their supervisor whose details will be provided to you upon request. The complaint will then be investigated and reported back to you as soon as possible.
For more information on our complaint procedure please visit our How to complain section.
This is an area where some initial legal advice can make a huge financial difference, given the significant cost of private care home fees. Our experience is that individuals and their families can often be confused or even misled about the funding which is available to them, and this can lead to massive financial detriment.
We can give you very clear advice about what funding should be available to the resident of a care home, whether from the Local Authority or the NHS.
Our fees are likely to be less than the cost of one or two weeks of care home fees, and could save you tens of thousands of pounds. It may equally be that we can simply reassure you that the right amount of money is being paid for care, and no disadvantage is being experienced thereby alleviating any underlying concerns.
Given the frequency with which we see financial disadvantage and confusion occurring, it will always be worthwhile taking the time to obtain professional legal advice.
There are usually specific procedures for appealing against or requesting a review of assessments, which you are not happy with, or, for resolving disputes that may occur.
The person who has carried out the assessment should provide you with information about the relevant appeal/review procedure, and it is important that you note any specific time frames for requesting a review or appeal. If you do not comply with these time frames then you may lose the opportunity to take the matter further.
It is also important that requests for appeals or reviews are made to the correct person and/or address, which may be different to the person who carried out the assessment you are not happy with. If you do not make your request to the correct party then this could cause a substantial delay, which would be detrimental to you.
You must comply fully with any official dispute resolution procedure before being able to escalate an issue to the relevant Ombudsman.
OpenDoor has substantial experience in the dispute resolution procedures which are utilised by the NHS and Local Authority, and which can be extremely difficult to navigate. We can provide you with clear advice and assistance as to both the procedure you should follow and how to increase your prospects of a successful outcome.
Essentially this depends on the amount of help you would like us to provide.
Our hourly charging rate is £120.00 per hour plus vat, so if you just want half an hour of advice, we will charge you £60.00 plus vat, or two hours of work will cost £240.00 plus vat. You are in charge and you set the budget that we will work to. There will be no unexpected bills or nasty surprises.
If there is a lot of work involved we will always try to accommodate a request for a fixed price – just ask us.
Full terms and conditions can be found here
To find out more please visit our How we charge page.