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Charging self-funding clients more than state funded clients. How is it lawful?

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Leaving aside the issues of whether they would qualify for NHS FFCC - I've started his thread is purely to discuss the injustice of self funders being charged more than state funded clients.

How is that self funders can LAWFULLY be charged more than state funded clients?

I am wondering if there could be a legal challenge somewhere regarding this - or has there been?

Given that it is now (or about to be) unlawful, for insurance companies to charge male drivers higher premiums than female drivers on the basis of their gender - what sort of discrimination could it be classed as, if any, to charge self funders higher costs than those who are state funded in the same care home?

You would not expect other suppliers of goods and services to means test someone before setting their prices - so how does this practice persist lawfully?

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S/B

It is not lawfull, but then we have a government past and present turning a blind eye, Solicitors Not fit for purpose, A police force not fit for purpose Akaa the serious fraud Squad, Ordered to leave alone Don't Make waves. Why: Simples: They Are all in it together lock stock and both smoking barrels, Apart from fiddled exspenses and daily allowances where else are they going to get their pension from

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I agree entirely.

Which is why I think this is an important issue which perhaps may be able to be highlighted here in addition to the NHS funding matter.

Many people will not get NHS funding, either because they clearly are social clients, or because they should be entitled but despite all efforts and appeals, have failed to achieve it.

If someone is therefore self funding, for whatever reason, shouldn't we now look to see how to challenge this injustice too?

How do we?

After all, this particular injustice will follow on from any failed attempt to obtain NHS funding.

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Agreed. Yesterday I asked the same question of SS, and the reply was that "care homes are commercial organisations". Not sure how this answers the question any more than a further question of why then do SS drive down the price so low with these commercial organisations that the price hike for self funders becomes inevitable? 

Seems like a challenge under competition law may be the most fruitful.

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Care homes charge 'self funders' around 30% more than they are paid by local authority social services departments which, the homes claim, is insufficient to cover the costs (and profits) of providing care. It is unlawful because it constitutes discrimination as the self funders receive the same services and facilities as those patients supported by social services. Legal advice is that the cost of taking a case to judicial review would be about the same as seeking judicial review of a decision to refuse NHS care - which is also unlawful where there is illness or disability of such severity as to necessitate 24/7 access to care services, which is the statutory right of every resident British citizen. Steve.

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Agreed and equally infuriating.

Just to be clear, is the cost of JD for either issue beyond the coffers of this forum or The Campaign please?

I am determined to make my 2012 have more light than heat, so please excuse the "quantum" question.

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Perhaps we can have a campaign for this issue too? If enough people band together the JD is perhaps not so out of reach? A great many people will fail to qualify for NHS funding - and many are social cases - but why should their thrift and prudence when they were younger and well, be used against them when they are old and infirm.

This issue appears to me more clear cut than that of NHS funding with it's myriad rules and criteria.

This issue does not appear to rely on anything except equity and fairness for all.

I hope people do win the NHS care their loved one's are entitled to but there is no escaping the fact that some won't. Why then should the 'losers' pay more to be in a care home than those who are state funded?

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Hello Everyone

I would think it would be against laws of conducting trading. But what they rely upon is the cost of bringing any sort of legal challenge to it and the fear of losing that challenge.

Kind regards Ian

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Perhaps we can have a campaign for this issue too? If enough people band together the JD is perhaps not so out of reach? A great many people will fail to qualify for NHS funding - and many are social cases - but why should their thrift and prudence when they were younger and well, be used against them when they are old and infirm.

This issue appears to me more clear cut than that of NHS funding with it's myriad rules and criteria.

This issue does not appear to rely on anything except equity and fairness for all.

I hope people do win the NHS care their loved one's are entitled to but there is no escaping the fact that some won't. Why then should the 'losers' pay more to be in a care home than those who are state funded?

Good points, especially the last para. which emphasises the double jeopardy element of all this.

Any comment Steve on costs of JD for either route please?

I seem to recall highlighting and posting a link to a firm of sols who were involved in this, but on behalf of care home owners, and who were taking action against undue pressure to accept ever driven down rates from LAs. They had been successful at JD on one occasion and were going for more. Obviously potentially opposing interests, but in many ways linked; ie against "price massaging" by LAs. United we stand etc. Worth a look?

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Wasn't this more to do with forcing the LA to pay more for their placements rather than trying to enable self funders to have parity with the state funders? 

I could be wrong but it just reads like that.

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Article from March 2011 - http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/237158/Private-patients-punished-in-care-homes-scandal

More stats are available if anyone wants them.

VM

Thanks for the link VM - I thinks more stats if you have them would be useful. Especially useful would be ANY reference to a legal challenge on this from a self funder. I have googled and will keep digging but not found anything so far so perhaps it is new territory on the legal front.

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As VM remarked recently "When it was suggested to me two years ago, by the (very able) solicitor dealing with things, that 'Learned Counsel' might be asked to give an opinion, I was quoted £1000 for Learned Counsel to get out of bed.

That was nothing to do with a Class Action. Just a need for an opinion!!!!"

The problem of course, in order to protect their own backsides solicitors will invariably pass responsibility for advising on the merits of JR or any other legal action on to 'learned council'. In any case a plaintiff would need to find a barrister with the requisite knowledge to advise on and present the case in court. To do so said counsel would need to study the evidence and bone up on the law - for which (Surprise! Surprise!) they would charge. In some situations it may be possible to bring a case 'in the public interest' but so far I have been unsuccessful in convincing the legal services commission or anyone else (including the national press) that it is!
To state the obvious: it would be a total waste of money to seek counsels opinion in the absence of sufficient funds to mount an action even if that opinion confirmed a 'cast iron case'! Steve.

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