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Do as you would be done by

September 24, 2018

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

I have been contacted by a man who is unhappy about the “administration fee” which some providers charge when someone becomes a resident in a care home. In this man’s case the provider charged the family an adminstration fee of £980 – the exact equivalent of one week’s care fees.

The man has written to the provider asking for an explanation of the direct relationship between one week’s care fees and the adminstration charge, requesting a detailed breakdown of administration performed. I do not know whether he has received a reply.

While I am sure that providers do incur some additional costs when admitting someone as a resident, £980 seems a bit steep and the equivalence to one week’s care fees does smack of the kind of rapacious commercial practice which has given the private sector a less than enviable reputation. I understand that these charges are part of contractual terms and conditions, but being legal doesn’t make it right.

These charging practices have been under the recent scrutiny of the Competition and Markets Authority, Age UK, Which? Magazine and care services minister Caroline Dinenage but it will be a pity if providers have to be compelled to do the right thing rather than reforming their practices by their own volition.

Providers are quick to criticise the ‘take it or leave it’ attitude of some local authorities when it comes to fees for publicly-funded residents – a fair price for care should hold good in both the publicly-funded and private-pay arenas.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

One Reply to “Do as you would be done by”

  1. I actually find myself siding with the care provider on this one. I work with several homes that deal in a high number of respites; the work to admit these residents is recognised as very high. Care documentation alone can take five hours or so. Then there is the admin time to ensure all the paperwork is signed. In terms of the other services, more time is taken on admission than anything else. Deep cleans, fresh linen and fabrics, new mattresses possibly, painting, new carpets, chef time to identify likes, dislikes and diets, and more individual staff time than normal helping the new resident to settle in. . Although it should arguably be covered by the weekly fee, I am not sure the weekly fee in this example is high enough to cover all the costs; strictly “admin costs” though they might not be.

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