NHFA blows whistle on residential care top-up charges

A residential care advice body warned yesterday that residents and their families are being over-charged for services, in some cases illegally, due to cash constraints in councils.

NHFA said councils placing residents in independent sector homes were routinely expecting families to top-up fees paid by councils to providers.

Under guidance, this should only happen where service users have chosen accommodation that is more expensive than market rates.

NHFA said: “Whilst it is reasonable for local authorities to put ceilings on the rate they pay for care, many local authorities routinely expect families to make top-ups. This clearly contravenes the guidance.”

It also said that self-funding residents were being charged more for care than council-funded residents so providers could make up for authorities paying them less than the market rate.

NHFA, which provides advice on handling the cost of residential care, called for a “fair” settlement for social care in this year’s comprehensive spending review to overcome these issues.



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