Latimer Hinks is urging anyone who has been personally responsible for payment of care home fees to seek advice well in advance of a 30 September 2012 deadline as they may be entitled to a refund of care fees if they are found to be or have been eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare.
NHS Continuing Healthcare ("NHS Healthcare) is a carepackage provided outside of a hospital setting, arranged and funded solely by the NHS, for people with ongoing healthcare needs. This includes people who have a "primary health need (i.e. their main or primary need for care relates to their health) for which they require a good deal of care and support, and people who need specialised nursing support. Eligibility is not assessed by reference to a particular disease, diagnosis or condition, or who provides the care, or where that care is provided.
Potential claimants who were in receipt of nursing care between 1 April 2004 and 31 March 2011, who have or have had a "primary health need, and who have paid for their care whilst potentially being eligible for NHS Healthcare, must submit a claim no later than 30 September 2012. The claim deadline for those who received care between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2012 is extended to 31 March 2013.
Natalie Palmer, a Partner in the Private Client team at the Darlington-based firm of Solicitors commented: "It is vitally important that anyone who thinks they may have paid care fees whilst being eligible for NHS Healthcare seeks advice as a matter of urgency. This applies particularly to those receiving care prior to 31 March 2011, as the cut-off date is imminent. An assessment can also be undertaken retrospectively for anyone who was in receipt of care since 1 April 2004 and who has subsequently died.
"NHS Healthcare is free, and unlike social and community care services provided by local authorities, is not dependant on an individuals income and savings.
Helen Thomas, who works with Natalie at Latimer Hinks, mentions the point that "Many of the firms clients who secure advice on care-related matters often have no idea that a retrospective review can be carried out. The need to publicise the issue is particularly important when refunds can be very substantial.
"Anyone who thinks they may have a claim, or would like to claim on behalf of someone else, should do so as a matter of urgency.
For further information, and to make an appointment to have your case, or your relatives case reviewed please contact Latimer Hinks on 01325 341 500.