Why you might be asked to leave

There can be different reasons why a care home asks you to move out. For example:

  • they say they can no longer meet your needs
  • you can no longer afford the fees
  • you or a third party can no longer pay a top-up fee
  • your behaviour has become disruptive and disturbing to other residents.

Every situation is different. If you’d like advice about your specific circumstances, call our Helpline and arrange to speak to an adviser.

Sometimes a care home has to close. This is usually planned and you should be consulted and given plenty of notice before you have to move.

In some cases a care home may consider you or a relative difficult and demanding for raising concerns about your care. However, the Care Quality Commission, who regulate care providers, are clear that you must not be discriminated against, and your care must not be affected, if you make a complaint.

Before you seek advice

The first step is to find out why you’ve been asked to leave. Always ask for reasons in writing. This will help you to be clearer about what you’re dealing with and, if appropriate, you can challenge the care home and/or the organisation making a financial contribution to your care. 

There are some important documents you should ask for and check.

Your contract with the care home

Check your contract to see what it says about having to move out, including any notice periods. If you’re paying all the fees yourself, you should have a copy of the contract you signed when you moved in. If the council or your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is paying towards your fees, they should have given you a copy of the terms and conditions they agreed with the care home. Ask if you don’t have one.

Assessments and care plans

If you’re paying for your own care or receiving a contribution from the council, look at your most recent care needs assessment. This is a record from social services of what your needs are. If the council is contributing to your fees, you must also have a care and support plan saying how your care needs will be met.

If you’re receiving NHS Continuing Healthcare, look at your latest completed Decision Support Tool and care plan. If you don’t have a copy of these, request them from your Clinical Commissioning Group.

If you’re receiving Section 117 after-care, look at your most recent after-care plan. Speak to your NHS care coordinator or council social worker if you don’t have a copy.

You could also ask your care home for a copy of any care plans or records they’ve created while caring for you.

The care home’s statement of purpose

Every care home must produce a statement of purpose when they register with the Care Quality Commission. This must include the services they provide and the types of needs they say they can meet. Ask the care home for a copy of their statement of purpose.

What you may need to do

The council still has responsibility for you if you’ve been assessed as having eligible needs. Check all relevant documents as soon as possible so you’re better informed about the situation and your rights. There may be grounds for a challenge if the care home ought to be able to meet your needs.

Depending on the situation and the timescales you may need to:

  • request an urgent reassessment of your needs
  • make a formal complaint
  • get specialist legal advice.

Tips

If you’re in this situation:

  • don’t panic but don’t delay dealing with the problem – you’ll have to act quite quickly
  • ask the care home for reasons and get everything in writing
  • gather the relevant paperwork and information
  • call Independent Age for advice tailored to your situation.

You might still have to move but you can buy time so you can make the right decision for you. If you have complex needs, it will take time to find the right place.

Next steps

Call our Helpline and arrange to speak to an adviser

To get legal advice or find a solicitor, contact the Law Society.

To find out whether you’re eligible for help with legal costs, contact Civil Legal Advice.

You might be able to get free initial legal advice through a Law Works legal advice clinic or from the Disability Law Service.

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