Care Homes failure to issue Invoices

Mum was placed in a care home back in July, initially paid for by the NHS until Mum became self funding. I was told by Social Services a bill would be arriving on my doorstep in the near future.

I started approaching my mail with trepidation, despite knowing these bills were coming and it was Mum who had to sign the cheques as it was her money. Nothing ever arrived.

I assume the right thing for me to do would be to call the home and ask, why aren’t you billing me. But who does that?

Today I suddenly get inundated with phone calls from the new manager who had taken over the home. An absolutely lovely Man when I met him the same day, but basically demanding payment of over £15,000 instantly or further action will be taken.

I explained that I’d never received any invoices for which he was very apolegtic and told me the entire home was under new management and things were changing for the better, in the future I’d be billed regularily on the 15th…

The new manager went away with a cheque in hand which I just pray doesn’t bounce. I was expecting a large bill, but to ask for half a years Nursing Home fees in a one off, due to administrative errors or change of management is mad. (the bill pays in advance to the end of January).

I cannot reiterate how lovely the new manager is, he sat chatted with me and told me things had changed in the home. But I still feel shocked that due to no fault of my own I’m expected to get £15k of Mums money within a matter of hours.

I am VERY worried about your post.

You should NOT have paid until such time as they sent you
A contract
It’s their mistake.

I’d be talking to CQC because obviously you were intimidated into paying, and clearly you are worried about whether the cheque will bounce. That’s worried me even more.
Are you paying with your own money, or mum’s? (Only mum’s money should be used. Don’t believe that you have to pay any “top ups” at all!!
Do you have POA for mum?
Have Social Services done a full financial assessment for mum, and told you how much you have to pay each week?

IF CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare is involved … main thread + section on fees :

Asked to top up / pay for CHC care ?

2 links under that section.

CHC FUNDING CRITERIA In 2022 - Great Tips On How To Get It

Is There An Upper Limit To Amount NHS Continuing Healthcare Funding Will Cover? • Continuing Healthcare


IF NOT , AGE UK … one of the bibles out there on the whole aspect of care home fees :

Paying for permanent residential care | Paying for a care home | Age UK

Do NOT take ANYTHING for granted until you have digested which one of the above applies.

Of course you shouldn’t have had to pay within a matter of hours. That is ridiculous. What business does that? None.

It’s entirely their fault they didn’t send you invoices, and that’s that.

As BB says, there has to be a contract in place, and the contract will state - as all business contracts must! - what the terms of payment are. Most are 30 days, aren’t they? That’s usually standard!

You could have handed the manager a cheque for, say, one month’s invoice ‘as a matter of goodwill and good faith’ and then said the outstanding would be paid according to the payment terms of the contract.

All that said, it isn’t that unusual for accounts departments at care homes to be ‘lackadaisical’. I have just experienced something similar with my late MIL’s. It was bought by a new company a while ago, and the old system of me handing in a cheque when I visited has been replaced by a ‘send cheques to central office do NOT hand them in at the care home’ (the company runs several).

However, I’ve received a long ‘statement’ with lots of ‘gaps in payment’ which I now have to go through with a fine toothcomb, matching their statement entries (over two years!) to check stubs, my copies of their invoices, and finally my MIL’s bank statemetns to track WHEN cheques were cashed. It doesn’t really tally totally with what they are saing. A lengthy phone call is going to be required between me and their accounts department to match my records with theirs!

Nor does it help that nearly every cheque is either for £3000 or £31000 - it was a a hundred pounds a day, so the cheques reflct the days in the onth - they all look the same! Except Februaryt!!!

Stephen, I’ve given further thought to your last post.

Please don’t let this spoil your Christmas though, I know how tough this is, having lost four elderly frail family members. My own mum’s care fees were wrongly charged, the LA mucked up, and I claimed back £8,000 in excess charges!

Often, the rules regarding residential care are not explained properly to either residents or family members. We will help you sort things out.

If the home is “under new management” it is very likely that they did not know that mum’s care was initially funded by the NHS.

If they demanded (and however smooth talking the manager is, he is a bully!) £15,000 immediately, for the first SIX month’s fees, that would indicate to me that they have possibly charge the full whack from day 1. Each home is governed by CQC (Care Quality Commission) Regulations, and one of these is that they have a booklet about the home, charges, etc. which are clearly laid down. Did you get one?

I have a degree in Business Studies and ran a business for many years, contract law was a favourite subject of mine.

Legally, you are not required to pay anything unless you have been given a copy of a contract, had time to study it, and you have signed it. The Golden Rule is not to sign ANYTHING unless you have taken it away to study it, refuse to allow yourself to be bullied.

To start with I would suggest that you

  1. Write (or email) to the home and ask them to send you a copy of their new contract for signature (but don’t sign it yet!)
  2. Write (or email) to Social Services, ask them to clarify what date mum became responsible for the fees.
  3. Ask Social Services for a copy of their Financial Assessment.

Does mum have dementia?
Is she receiving the highest rate Attendance Allowance?
Is she receiving NHS Funded Nursing Care?
Has she had an NHS Continuing Healthcare Checklist Assessment?
(If you don’t know, then it wasn’d done in accordance with the regulations and this needs to be done properly.

Finally, put everything relating to mum and the home in a ring binder, in date order, ideally with monthly Mylar dividers. (Jenny and I were writing at the same time).

I’d stop the cheque personally, and say you will be happy to agree a reasonable payment plan to pay off the excess over certain period, such as a year.


Would you believe the cheque bounced, not due to lack of funds. But because it wasn’t dated, When someone comes to your house demanding £15,000+ mistakes happen.

So the following Thursday the same thing again, 1 O’clock phone call telling me the cheque had bounced and threatening me with legal action and not wanting to take it further…He gives everyone a chance to prove themselves so he says.

I was first e-mailed an invoice when he decided to chase it on Friday the 14th of December, before that. Nothing.

I have never seen a contract between the home and Mum, I’ve never signed anything. The more I think of it this guy is a bully, the sort of person who scares me.

He has a new cheque, I didn’t know what else to do.

Yes, definitely a bully. He is DEMANDING MONEY WITH MENACES.

Please re read what we said earlier and take control of this situation.
Write and tell him that in future all communication MUST be in writing or email, and that there will be NO MORE PAYMENTS until he comes up with detailed invoices for the period covered by the cheque.
Should he fail to do so, you wll be in touch with Social Services and Trading Standards. (They have issued guidance on care home fees etc.) and also Which, the Consumers Association magazine.

If the Home was arranged by Social Services, then the Care Home should bill the council who then bill you/Mum.

There have been recent Ombudsman cases on exactly this.

Complain to Social services

Making a complaint is the only way of sorting this sort of thing out, that’s why Social Services HQ will have a Complaints Officer. look at the LA website and you can probably complain online. I can in Hampshire.

Thanks for the support as usual guys, although just for my peace of mind I do hope this latest cheque goes through. Would I be out of order calling the police if he insists on coming to my house for payment again?

I hate confrontation and am easily intimidated (I suffer from Ankylosing Spondylitis and need a walking stick and painkillers just to get me out the house). Maybe that’s why I’m seen as easy prey.

Strangely while visiting Mum today, my taxi driver spent years in palliative care and when I told her what had happened said she’d never heard of anything like it in over 20 years as a carer.

Having thought it through in my head, this obviously isn’t the way you go about business, especially as a manager of a nursing home. If he’s treating me like this, despite the niceties he throws in, how does he treat his staff, let alone residents?

Sorry, rant over!!! Pleased to say my Mum is doing really well and I just want her back home now after all this.

Find out if the home has a Relatives Group. Is the home part of a wider group?
Do NOT allow yourself to be bullied again.
INSIST that they put anything relating to fees etc. in writing.
Have you got a copy of the homes “terms and conditions” yet?

Definitely !

Not care related at all but a similar circumstance. When we moved into our current house, the previous occupant forgot to cancel the direct debit to pay the water rates. they did eventually realise and arranged a refund from the water company.

The water company then sent me a large red bill demanding payment of three years water rates within ten days - no explanation, no apology, just a demand for money. We’d always received a statement every year detailing the various charges and it always ended with:- “There is nothing to pay - this for information only.”

I phoned them and found out the facts and offered to pay by standing order at £10 per month. Initially they said they only took direct debits - they gave in eventually as I refused to sanction a DD.

I could have paid the whole lot without any problem but was incensed by the initial demand with no hint of an explanation and decided they could wait for their money.

Merry Christmas one and all, I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas…
I never thought in a million years I’d be going for Christmas in a residential home to visit my Mum, but I’m actually looking forward to it.

Enjoy. I can see the benefits - no prep or washing up, plenty of time to enjoy each other’s company.


It was a lovely meal at Mums home, Mum and I had a great time and the carers were brilliant…
I’m terrified for Thursday now… when I’ll find out about the cheque…

Mum cleared her plate, including my Turnip. Then polished it of with Christmas Pudding and three glasses of Lambrini…

Stephen, it’s NOT YOUR FAULT that they didn’t send invoices, and I’m far from convinced yet that you should have paid a penny.
Is it your bank account, or mum’s by the way?
When did mum have a Social Services Financial Assessment?
Were you given a WRITTEN statement of how mum’s contribution was assessed?

I’ve had 40 years experience of care homes etc, and Carers UK has an advice service.

I’m sorry that I should have taken this more seriously, I was just relieved Mums massive cheque went through and I was promised in the future I’d receive timely invoices on the 15th of each Month.

Tho and behold on the 7th over a week before the next invoice was due I get a message on my machine, “How do you intend to pay the next bill?” Followed by niceties, like we miss you mate and you haven’t visited for a while.

It’s getting borderline between harrassment and bullying, he got his large cheque at a moments notice so why start questioning the next payment?

I’ve never received a contract, not a thing in writing, at no point have I agreed to pay Mums bills. While I want whats best for Mum, I want this idiot to stop contacting me.

Stephen, you need to take some action now. Tell him that he MUST send you an invoice, plus all the back invoices.
Contact CQC as well.