Trust repays £100,000 in care home fees

MORE than £100,000 has been paid back to a dementia sufferer by the local primary care trust.

The money was paid out after it was discovered elderly Eastbourne resident Edna Witt had been paying too much in nursing home fees because she was entitled to continuing healthcare funding.

The news of the pay out was released last week by Hugh James, a solicitors firm, who were instructed to handle Mrs Witt’s case.

Hugh James says Mrs Witt became a resident of Homelea Residential Care Home in September 2005 and later transferred to the Sovereign Lodge Care Centre in 2009 where she still resides.

Over the years she paid nearly £150,000 in fees for her care.

The legal firm explained she suffers from dementia and a number of other illnesses, including problems with her heart and kidneys.

Hugh James said they were instructed to deal with her case in March 2009 and Mrs Witt was receiving continuing care from the NHS. However, they updated the case in April this year.

On the Hugh James website it said, “Following a retrospective review, the Primary Care Trust agreed Mrs Witt should have been eligible for continuing healthcare from her admission to the care home in 2005 and have reimbursed her more than £100,000 in wrongly paid fees.”

A spokesperson from the PCT said, “Our first record of contact with Mrs Witt and her family is the approach through lawyers in 2009.

“Our continuing healthcare team then worked with Mrs Witt and her family reaching agreement on retrospective payments going back to 2005.

“This work was completed in August 2011, and we have continued to work closely with Mrs Witt and her family since then.

“Our continuing healthcare team take pride in ensuring Mrs Witt’s care is of a high standard and meets her and her family’s needs.”

And Julia Dutchman-Bailey, NHS Sussex director of quality and chief nurse, said, “There is a straightforward and easily accessible process.

“I do not believe legal support is required to complete this process and would encourage anyone to get in touch directly.

“NHS Sussex is keen that when patients and their families are eligible for funding they receive all the money they are entitled to, without having to spend some of it on legal fees paid.”