This recent ombudsmen case very clearly sums the position regarding top ups, and how councils try to pass the buck to care homes.(or claim ignorance - they cannot be ignorant now, surely)
It clearly says when top up apply, and that they are set up and managed and charged by the Councils not the Homes
In this case the carer son signed a support plan when he shouldn’t have as he didnt realise what it meant. I don’t think the Mum should have been asked to sign it either as she was so poorly.
In this case the timescales were tight and everything was done ( or not completed) in the wrong order. The caree died after only 3 months, else the costs would have mounted and been horrendous
So, the moral, is, even if your caree is in need, and council is pressuring you or them to sign support plans DO NOT, unless you and caree have read, re-read and understood every single word and connotation.
To compliment Mrs.A’s posting … two links on the subject of top up fees … AGE UK and CaretoBeDifferent :
What are care home top-up fees? | Age UK
Care home top-up fees: Do you really have to pay? | Care To Be Different
Care home top-up fees – some key points from the Independent Age report :
Top-up fees are required only when the person needing care or their family have specifically requested more expensive accommodation. They should not be charged just because a care home costs more than the local authority/council is willing to pay.
Care home top-up fees should only be paid by relatives who are able and willing to pay them.
Local authorities are responsible for top-up arrangements. However, many such arrangements are made between a care home and a relative – with the local authority out of the picture.
Often local authorities fail to direct people towards independent advice; they also fail to explain a person’s right before top-up contracts are signed.
Many local authorities are in breach of the Choice of Accommodation Directions (LAC(2004)20. These Directions prevent local authorities/councils from asking for top-up fees as a blanket policy.
If a relative cannot pay third party top-up fees, the local authority is responsible in full for the full cost of care.
Another case of NOT signing anything until you have double / triple checked the exact terms and conditions of the contract / agreement you are being asked to sign.
Brilliant information, thank you.