It follows the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) year-long market study into the residential and nursing care home sector in the UK for people over 65. The study found that there is a risk of residents being treated unfairly and that some care homes may potentially be breaching consumer law.
The draft advice sets out what the CMA considers care homes should do to comply with consumer law, including:
- what upfront information they need to provide to prospective residents and their representatives to help them make informed choices
- what they need to do to ensure that their contract terms and the way they treat residents and their representatives are fair
- their obligation to provide services to residents with reasonable care and skill
- what they need to do to ensure that their complaint-handling policies and procedures are easy to find, easy to use, and fair
The CMA is seeking views on the draft advice from a range of interested parties including care homes and their representative bodies, enforcers such as local authority Trading Standards Services and sector regulators. The CMA also welcomes views from residents and their families, charities representing the elderly and consumer groups. The consultation closes on 12 July.
The consultation is part of the CMA’s ongoing consumer protection work in the care home sector. As part of this work, the CMA has also today published its final advice on the charging of fees after a resident’s death following a consultation earlier this year.