The CMA has announced that it has begun investigating whether care homes are breaking the law by charging families for extended periods after a resident’s death.
The CMA said it was also investigating homes that charge large upfront fees as it opened a consumer protection case into concerns over unfair practices in the sector.
The initial findings of the CMA’s probe into the sector, which are published today, highlight wider concerns that will be the focus of the next phase of the investigation.
These include confusion about the social care system and funding options; an ineffective complaints system; a lack of transparency about care home fees; care homes being allowed to ask residents to leave at short notice; and the lack of investment to meet future capacity needs.
Acting Chief Executive, Andrea Coscelli, said: “Some of the most vulnerable people in our society use care homes, often moving to them under extremely difficult circumstances. It’s therefore essential they are able to make informed choices, understand how services will be paid for, and be confident they will be fairly treated and able to complain effectively if they have any concerns.
“Demand for care home places is expected to surge over the next two decades. To make sure the additional capacity this requires is available, it needs to be built in good time. At present, short term funding pressures and uncertainty mean that the sector is not attracting investment. We will be focusing on finding ways to deal with these, and other concerns identified.”