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Ombudsman could open door to LTC cost redress

A Health Service Ombudsman report has opened the door to possible compensation claims from elderly people forced to pay for their own long-term care costs unnecessarily.

But LTC providers are warning that the report does not change the need to cover for future care costs.

Providers point out that while the report calls for local health authorities to revisit cases where compensation may be due, it does “not open up any new ways of obtaining free long-term care”.

The report, published last week by Health Service Ombudsman Ann Abraham, said significant refunds may be due to people who wrongly paid for their own LTC costs. She said the Government criteria on who qualifies for free care are so confusing that local health authorities often have applied their own standards.

Age Concern Financial Partnerships technical manager Chris Ellicott says: “LTC insurance will still remain a very relevant option for those who could face long-term care bills. It is not possible to predict if your care needs will be such that you qualify for NHS support. Even if the NHS provides care, it may be the care you need but not necessarily in the care home you would choose.”

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