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Family's frustration over protracted appeals process

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Family’s frustration over protracted appeals process

A woman embroiled in a lengthy legal battle over more than £250,000 in nursing home fees has criticised the appeals process.

Elizabeth Goodchild had submitted a claim to the West Hampshire Care Commissioning Group (CCG) on the basis that the cost of her late aunt’s care should have been covered by the NHS.

Joan Wickens had moved into the nursing home in Fordingbridge, Hampshire, in 2006 and as her health deteriorated she had to be moved to a high-dependency care bed.

Following her death in 2012, at the age of 98, the family had made the claim under the NHS Continuing Healthcare programme.

The scheme was open to those who thought they had wrongly paid for the cost of care in the eight year period between 2004-2012. A deadline was set for March 2013 for anyone who thought they were entitled to a refund to make a claim.

Three years on, Ms Goodchild is still waiting on a decision from the health service.

She told the BBC: “[Miss Wickens] was always well looked after but she did need a lot of care.

“I think it’s extraordinary that something that’s her right should become such a battle. It’s a legal entitlement for her … it’s very shabby that it should be difficult.”

A spokesman for West Hampshire CCG said they could not comment on individual cases due to patient confidentiality but all outstanding appeals were expected to be dealt with by June this year.