The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating complaints that care homes are charging families for empty rooms after the death of residents.
The CMA said it had received a number of complaints from people forced to pay for extended periods after the death of residents, plus ‘surprise’ charges, including taking patients for medical appointments, The Guardian reported.
Many care homes charge residents’ families up to a week following a death as standard practice but the CMA heard complaints of charging over much longer periods.
Caroline Abrahams of Age UK said: “When an older person dies . . . it seems wholly unfair to expect their family to have to continue to pay fees.”
The CMA launched an investigation into how well the care home market is working in December (see BREAKING NEWS: CMA launches care and nursing home review).
“We are very keen to hear from care home residents and their relatives who have experienced issues such as unexplained or ‘hidden’ charges, unexpected fee increases or occasions when they feel that complaints have not been handled fairly,” the CMA said.
“As part of our review we are looking at whether care homes are complying with consumer law so we’re encouraging people to come forward with any evidence of unfair terms or practices. We will be reporting our initial findings by the start of June.”