'My pension wasn't enough to cover my £2k a month care fees so I had to rely on my child'

January 29, 2024
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Daughter consoling sad senior man in waiting room

He had to rely on Carole when the care home costs increased (Image: Getty)

James Yelland was forced to rely on his daughter Carole to help him pay his care home fees as the monthly income from his private pensions was not enough.

Mr Yelland was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and was in nursing care for seven years before he died in 2018, aged 89.

He was paying his monthly care fees from his private pensions, but he had to rely on Carole when they increased to around £2,000.

Carole tried to apply for NHS CHC funding but was unfairly denied, so she had to rent out James’s flat to afford his care.

NHS CHC is a fully-funded package of care that some people are entitled to receive as a result of disability, accident or illness.

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However, the scheme is notoriously difficult to gain approval for, due to its strict guidelines (Image: Getty)

It is available in England and Wales to individuals who have complex, intense or unpredictable needs and can be provided in a nursing home, in a hospital or in a person’s own home. Those who are accepted receive fully-funded care from the NHS.

However, the scheme is notoriously difficult to gain approval for, due to its strict guidelines.

Carole said: “There wasn’t any prior plan in place to cover care fees, unfortunately. My dad wasn’t a wealthy man. My mum had been a housewife in the main apart from a couple of hours working in a local shop for a few years so she relied on dads income.

“Although he had his state pension and a private pension it was not sufficient to cover his care.

Mature caregiver nurse medical worker helping old elderly senior patient grandmother to stand walk. Geriatrics concept. Disability in motion, immobili

Recent stats by NHS England show a sharp decrease in people receiving CHC funding in recent years (Image: Getty)

“The income from renting his flat made that possible but there was no profit as he was then liable for additional income tax and there was also the agent’s fee and the service/maintenance charges on the flat to be paid”

Many people are eligible for NHS CHC but are being turned down as they are being incorrectly assessed.

Recent stats by NHS England show a sharp decrease in people receiving CHC funding in recent years. This is due to a change in the approach to assessments alongside a very strict application process.

Due to wrongful assessments made by the NHS, more cases than ever are successfully being brought to appeal.

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The Yelland family applied for NHS support but were denied access which made it difficult to afford the care necessary. They kept appealing the decision as they believed their father deserved the extra funds.

After an 11-year battle with the CHC the final conclusion was that he was eligible for funding for only 2 years from 2013 – 2015 and also for the last few weeks of his life.

Carole explained that in their opinion after perusing all the evidence for all the other years his needs were “manageable”.

She said: “I will never understand how that conclusion has been reached. He was completely dependent on others to survive. As well as not knowing where he was or who anyone was he had lost mobility, was doubly incontinent and had various other health issues some of which we were not even aware of.

“The amount of evidence/information/reports required was staggering. Currently, we still await payment for the agreed last few weeks before he passed away.”

Lisa Morgan, a partner in the Nursing Care Fee Recovery team at Hugh James Solicitors explained that with an ageing population and the increase in care cost, future care is a real concern for thousands of people.

Recent stats by healthcare analysts LaingBuisson show a sharp rise in care across the UK. The cost of care has increased by almost 10 percent in the past year, with some care homes reaching £10,000 per month.

As a result, many people in care are running out of funds and having to sell their homes to afford the cost.

Despite the setback, she suggested Britons look into NHS CHC scheme for financial support.

The NHS must pay 100 percent of a person’s care fees for those whose needs fall under ‘health’, as opposed to ‘social’. This fully-funded care package is known as Continuing Healthcare (CHC), which is provided irrespective of an individual’s wealth.

Ms Mortgan said: “NHS CHC is a vital source of funding for many families across the UK who require long-term care from the NHS. Sadly, despite an ageing population, NHS England figures show the number of people eligible for funding has dropped by 20 percent since 2015.

“A lack of awareness of the funding scheme coupled with guidelines which are often forgotten or applied too restrictively, means a significant number of people who should be eligible are being turned down by the NHS.”



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