The Office of Fair Trading has published a guide defining unfair
contract terms in private care homes.
The guide, for potential self-funding care home residents, outlines
the details that should be included in a care home contract, the
questions a prospective resident should ask and how to complain if
a contract is deemed unfair.
However, it fails to give any advice on levels of fees for
In December, the Consumers’ Association and a coalition of 28
charities made a “super complaint” to the OFT over the
“dysfunctional” care home market.
It highlighted the problem of self-funding residents in effect
subsidising local authority-funded residents because of
insufficient council funding (news, page 10, December 11).
The OFT has until early March to respond to the “super
According to the guide, information which should be given in a
contract includes full details of the care and services being
provided, how fees or charges are calculated, residents’ rights and
responsibilities and notice periods to end a contract.
– Fair Terms for Care from www.oft.gov.uk