The family of former Cardiff-resident Frank Green, who owned a famous toy shop in Canton for over 20 years, have been able to claim back care costs from the NHS after a recent claim through the team at Howells Solicitors.
Mr Green, who served in World War II and ran the toy shop SF Green on 295 Cowbridge Road afterwards until 1969, became increasingly ill after retirement and moved into care homes in Llandough, UHW and Whitchurch hospitals. There, the authorities made no assessment for his ongoing care and informed his family that any care fees must be funded by them. The family used Mr Green’s savings and sold his home to pay for his care in the final years of his life between 2003 and 2007.
Informed by the Coughlan and Grogan cases, in which families of seriously ill people were able to claim compensation from the health authorities if they were wrongly charged with care fees, our solicitor Alison Huggins worked with Mr Green’s family to reclaim the care fees they paid.
We opened the claim against Powys Health Board in 2010 and gathered all the relevant information and documentation that was needed before submitting it formally in January 2013. Although anyone is able to submit payment evidence for care home fees in an attempt to reclaim them from the authorities, it is a time-consuming, complicated task that benefits from legal experts who know how to manage and present a case.
Using our expertise in reclaiming care home fees, we worked with Mr Green’s family to sequence the documents chronologically and assess the clinical need of the patient.
In June 2013, the Powys Health Board accepted our thorough claim and settled the claim with an undisclosed payment.
In a letter to the Western Mail, Frank Green’s daughter Vivienne Winspear said:
“The cost of the claim was not merely financial. If an assessment had been made at the time of our father’s illness we would not have had the worry and distress of making a claim. Due to the constant support of Alison Huggins at Howells Solicitors, Ian Green of Powys Health Board and the family, we feel that we completed a debt to our father.
He believed in the NHS, served his country and became ill in old age.
The money repaid in June, before his 98th birthday, was his last gift to us.”
Alison Huggins of Howells Solicitors said:
“I am absolutely delighted with the result in this case. Mr Green’s daughter, a senior nurse herself, fought hard for many years to obtain what she considered to be justice for her father. I am sure he would have been very proud of her efforts.
“It is often very difficult for families of elderly patients to obtain clear information about continuing NHS healthcare, let alone secure this funding. This case of Mr Green is a reminder that the law clearly states that those who are in care homes because they are ill rather than alone should not be asked to contribute to the cost of their care. It also sadly illustrates how necessary it is for families to seek legal redress to ensure that their claims for funding are treated fairly. My advice to anyone who has a relative either in care or about to enter care is to know your rights within the assessment process and to know how to appeal decisions that you do not agree with.“
Click here for further information on care home fees.
by Tristan Lewis