Part of the CMA’s investigation focuses on the terms of contracts entered into when family members enter a care home.
The watchdog is concerned that homes may be breaking the law by charging large upfront fees when it’s not clear what services they relate to. The inquiry is also looking at cases where care homes continue to collect fees after the person in care has died. In some instances homes are filling beds still being paid for by other families, it is alleged.
Ray Hart of Valuing Care said the bigger issue was homes’ ability to raise charges by as much as they like. “There are cost pressure on them of course but basically these are open-ended contracts and each year they can raise the cost by as much as they like and they don’t give breakdowns explaining the increases.”