Magazine article Public Finance

Scots Care Home Residents 'Charged Top-Up Fees'

Magazine article Public Finance

Scots Care Home Residents 'Charged Top-Up Fees'

Article excerpt

The Scottish Executive has ordered an urgent inquiry into how older people in care homes are being charged top-up fees.

The investigation follows allegations that some of the poorest pensioners in homes are being reguired to pay for care which should be provided by their local authority. Councils have a duty to cover the cost in cases where residents have no savings.

Deputy health minister Rhona Brankin announced this week that she had reguested urgent reports from councils on the charging of fees.

The move followed allegations of pressure being placed on local authority-funded care home residents to be charged top-up fees to pay for standard local authority levels of care.

Brankin said: 'The legislation and guidance is quite clear - top-up fees cannot be charged unless in clearly defined circumstances. I want to ensure that this is the case in practice/

A BBC Scotland programme found that a large number of care homes were charging their poorest residents fees of more than £20 a week even though all their costs should be met by the local authority. …

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