The CMA published an interim report in June 2017, with its final report expected in November 2017. The emerging findings from the report will not come as a surprise to any of us who have had some experience with care homes.
The report focusses on what it considers to be unfair contractual terms, which are imposed upon families who often have little choice over the placement of an elderly relative.
Whilst some of us might have enough time to look around prospective care homes for an elderly relative, it is rare to also be given the opportunity to review the contract terms in advance of a placement.
Where consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their statutory and legal rights, it is therefore remarkable that often, we do know the contractual terms until it is too late.
I say this because many families will not know the full extent of the contractual terms and charges, until after their elderly relative has taken up residence.
It remains to be seen what recommendations the CMA will make in its final report. However, with charges averaging from £600 to £1,000 per week, aside from the purchase of the family home, the "purchase" of care home services can easily be one of the most expensive purchases a family can make in its lifetime.
Therefore, it must be right that contract and charges information is made freely available. It also follows that certain charges should be brought to the attention of the families in advance (e.g. charges for the room after the elderly relative has been in hospital for an extended period of time, or charges after the elderly relative has passed away).
CMA outlines emerging concerns in care homes market The CMA has today published the initial findings of its care homes market study, and is investigating if some homes are breaking consumer law. The market study was launched in December 2016 to examine whether the residential care homes sector is working well for elderly people and their families. Having reached the halfway point of the study, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) today published emerging findings and announced that, as a result of information received during this work, it has opened a consumer protection case to investigate its concerns that some care homes may be breaking consumer law.