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Setting your care home apart

March 13, 2018

When it comes to differentiating your care home from the competition, it is easy to think that your most important selling points will be your premises, facilities and standard of care.

However, a recent investigation into care homes by consumer watchdog Which? has flagged up another area that could really set your home apart: making your care contracts clear and fair.

As part of its investigation Which? contacted 50 care homes requesting a sample contract on the premise that they were looking for a care home for an elderly relative: 46 of these refused to send out a sample contract.

In addition, of the four sample contracts it received, three contained potentially unfair terms, such as one condition stating that fees would continue to be charged for a month after the resident’s death.

Despite the general lack of openness regarding care home contracts, a Which? survey of over 500 members of the public did find that 81% of respondents were happy that they understood the contracts they signed up to.

However, when questioned further it was clear that many did not fully understand some of the important contract terms.

For example, 38% said they did not know if their care home could evict a resident without giving a reason and 34% said they were not sure if the home could evict a resident without giving the notice period stated in the contract.

Whilst the Government and organisations such as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) are looking at ways in which to improve consumer protection in the care home sector, those care homes that get ahead of the curve and provide clear and fair contracts will easily establish an advantage over their competitors.

Choosing the right care home for oneself or a loved one will always be an emotionally charged decision, loaded with genuine concern over making the right choice.

This is not only because of the desire to find a pleasant and caring environment, but also to be reassured that there will be no unexpected fees and additional charges.

For this reason, those care homes that make transparency and trustworthiness their watchwords will always set themselves apart in the field of elderly care.