Fears that care fees are being unfairly inflated by NHS charges
Many of the dementia sufferers being looked after in UK care homes are paying for services which should be free on the NHS, a damning new report has suggested.
According to research, around one in five facilities in England is being charged for services that should be available from the health service free-of-charge.
These additional costs are subsequently bound up in a resident’s care fees, meaning that many individuals are unwittingly paying more than they ought to be.
The alarming situation was highlighted by the Alzheimer’s Society and Care England, who conducted the recent study.
In one case, a care home had accrued costs of £36,000 and there are real fears that this has inflated the amount of money that elderly people are paying each week.
The report’s authors said that around 280,000 people with dementia were being treated as second class citizens and “to add insult to injury, are paying for the privilege.”
Jeremy Hughes, the Alzheimer’s Society’s chief executive, urged the Government to examine the situation as a matter of urgency.
“People with dementia living in care homes are just as entitled to receive free care from the NHS as anyone else,” he said.
“A care home is, after all, a person’s home and health services must treat care homes as a vital part of the community, instead of holding them in disregard.”