Care Home Contracts
The Care of Older People UK Market Report, May 2017 by Healthcare specialists LaingBuisson suggests that the average cost of nursing home care is £841 per week and the average cost of residential care in the independent sector is £600 per week. If a person is self-funding, or pays a proportion of their fees, then they are required to sign a Care Home Fees Contract which lays out the terms of occupation and services provided.
Despite the fact that the expenditure is substantial many people do not take legal advice as to the validity of the contract and the terms contained within it before signing. These types of contracts are often entered into in difficult circumstances and are signed quickly to ensure the security of a space in a home whose waiting lists can be lengthy.
Contracts can be signed by the person entering care if they are mentally capable or by an Attorney on their behalf (see our Guide to Lasting Powers of Attorney). If signed by a person who is not the resident, the agreement may place upon the signatory certain terms and conditions of which they are unaware.
The care home, under the Care Standards Act 2000, is required to provide the resident with a standard form contract for the provision of services and facilities. The English standard requires that the terms and conditions include:
- details of the room to be occupied
- information about overall care and services (including food) covered by the fee
- fees payable and by whom (service user, local or health authority, relative or another)
- details of additional services (including food and equipment) to be paid for over and above those included in the fees
- rights and obligations of the service user and registered provider (care home) and who is liable if there is a breach of contract
- terms and conditions of occupancy, including the period of notice e.g. short/long term intermediate care/respite
How Hegarty Solicitors can help
We are able to provide a review of a Care Home Contract quickly and efficiently. We will provide you with a report detailing the terms of the contract in simple words whilst commenting on the fairness of the terms. We are also happy to negotiate alternative terms if required and assist in the securing of such terms. If the Care Home Contract has been signed, we are also able to review the signed contracts and provide guidance as to the existing terms and the fairness of such terms.