Since it was first set up the NHS has had an ongoing duty: We pay tax and, in return, the NHS provides services. A denial of healthcare by the NHS and any illegal charges imposed on elderly people could be considered a breach of those duties. This State-sponsored financial abuse when it comes to paying care fees seems widespread. When maladministration in Continuing Healthcare funding occurs and people are prevented from accessing proper redress, the State is, in effect, obtaining or keeping money by illegal means through illegal charging of care fees.
Lack of transparency
The decision to impose the new deadlines for retrospective reclaims for Continuing Care was announced in March 2012 by Sir David Nicholson, Chief Executive of the NHS in England. In his letter to NHS Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities he stated:
“It is very important that this [the deadlines] be communicated effectively and as quickly as possible to your local population through whatever means necessary. This could include local press, noticeboards in hospitals and community centres and through local advocacy groups and nursing homes.”
There has been no effective NHS advertising of these new deadlines to the general public. Individual NHS websites may have a page about it somewhere, but that information will only ever be found by people who are already aware of the deadlines and who are specifically looking at those pages.
The whole thing adds insult to injury. Most families with an elderly relative in care don’t even know Continuing Healthcare funding exists, or that they can reclaim fees, let alone that there are new deadlines for reclaiming Continuing Care. Exactly how is the NHS fulfilling its duty to promote it on all counts? And yet the legal framework surrounding Continuing Care places a specific duty on the NHS to do so.