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180M cash for victims of LTC charging

The Department of Health has paid out more than 180m in compensation to patients who were wrongly charged for long-term care.

Around 2,000 people who were forced to pay for nursing care between 1996 and 2004 have received payments averaging 90,000.

According to a 1999 court ruling, the NHS should have provided the care for free because the patients’ needs were health-related rather than social-care-related, for example, needing help dressing and washing.

Many of the patients’ families were forced to sell their homes to afford the fees which averaged hundreds of pounds a week.

The DoH’s decision to allow people charged for care during this time to have their cases reviewed was prompted byan attack on the NHS fromthe health service ombudsman in 2003.

Of the 13,300 claims received, 10,000 have been rej-eted and 1,300 are still being investigated.

Symponia managing director Janet Davies says: “It is a good thing for the 2,000 people who received compensation but for the 10,000 who have been rejected it’s obviously disappointing. It just highlights the point that there are no clear guidelines outlining who is and who is not eligible.”


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