Evidence has emerged that dead people are being invoiced for domiciliary care they could not have received; and persons moved to care homes are still being invoiced by domiciliary care companies even though they are no longer providing care to them.
Domiciliary care is care provided to individuals in their own homes, for which they pay more often that not.
Both Kent County Council (KCC) and the domiciliary care providers are in some instances threatening legal action to recoup monies for care not provided, due to the fact the clients are dead. This has been causing monthly anguish for families who receive the invoices, who each month are reminded of their loved ones via incorrect invoicing.
In 2019/20, KCC revealed in an FoI response, the number of people who died between the ages of 16 and 65+ was 765 while in receipt of domiciliary care.
In 2020/21, deaths of those in receipt of domiciliary care during the pandemic rose to 1,293.
This is a 70% increase of deaths for thos receiving domiciliary care between 2019/20 and 2020/21.
However, figures from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) say that in 2019/20, seven hundred and twenty six individuals (726) in Kent passed away while in receipt of domiciliary care. In 2020/21 that figure the CQC say rose to 1156. So the data between the two bodies is vastly different.
Not all those being supported at home who died are captured in the figures. By law, deaths have to be reported to the CQC by a care provider if a person died as a result of their care, or if a care worker was in their home at the time. But that fails to take account of those who die when only family are present, or the millions of people who are solely cared for by unpaid family members and friends.
To date 84 families – and rising – have contacted us providing unassailable evidence they continue to be invoiced for care – even though it could NOT have been provided – as both KCC and the domiciliary care providers have been notified; and more often than not been given certified copies of the death certificates to both parties, or evidence loved ones have moved into care homes.
The image above is an invoice for an individual who died back in March 2021 and the family are still receiving invoices. Each month they are reminded of their loved one’s death. Each month they inform KCC and the care provider their loved one is dead, yet still the invoices arrive. It is beyond insensitive.
As we said it is not just dead people being invoiced. Families who’ve placed loved ones into care homes, as they can no longer manage the complex needs of their family members are also being invoiced for care they were not provided with.
Domiciliary care companies have also been time clipping calls and this too has raised millions for care companies over the last five years.
Time clipping occurs where calls are systematically cut short due to care workers not having enough, or any, time to travel between calls. This means where a service user has a 30 minute call, the care worker would not be with the service user for 30 minutes but would use, for example, 10 minutes to travel to the next call. The service user would then only have 20 minutes of domiciliary care and not the 30 minutes s/he should have.
Information sourced under the Freedom of Information (FoI) implies that time clipping has happened and continues to happen and KCC are fully aware of it.
An FoI asked the following two questions:
How many of the domiciliary care providers [used by KCC], have been investigated by the KCC counter fraud team for “time clipping” – include names of companies
Please provide the financial amounts lost and/or recovered per domiciliary care provider
KCC responded to the FoI by stating:
We [KCC] can confirm that we hold the requested information.
However, disclosing this information would likely damage the relationship between KCC and the Care Providers. Also, if released into the public domain, it would be prejudicial to the providers commercial interests. Therefore, under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which states that information is exempt if its disclosure would or would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person, we are not obliged to disclose this information.
The implication of the response is unequivocal. That being KCC are aware that time clipping of vulnerable adults needing home care has happened and continues to happen.
Furthermore, evidence is emerging that time clipping is not the only issue. While making calls, domiciliary workers have to complete a number of tasks for example, wash, dress and feed clients, hoover, do the washing up and the clothes washing etc, but evidence has emerged that tasks are being clipped. We are currently investigating this emerging issue and when we have the evidence will present it for you to consider.
Finally, KCC and domiciliary care providers must stop hounding families to pay invoices for dead people and those who’ve moved into care homes immediately.
If you’ve experienced this you can either contact us (shepwayvox at riseup dot net) – with evidence – or your local KCC Cllr who should take up your case to prevent this atrocious invoicing of dead people or those who’ve moved into care homes.
The Shepway Vox Team
Being Voxatious is NOT a Crime