Grieving family hit with £500 care home bill after dad dies from Covid

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The family of a man who died of Covid-19 are appalled his care home is demanding cash – because he didn't give them enough notice before he died.

Former Boots worker Joseph Dearman, 90, was a resident at Acer Court Care Home in Nottingham Road, Nuthall, before he was struck down with Covid-19 on April 12.

He was rushed to Queen's Medical Centre but lost his battle with the deadly virus on April 15. His care home was notified and the family collected his belongings.

They even donated his brand new wheelchair – worth around £400 – to the home in order to help other frail residents.

But last June, they were horrified to receive a letter from the care home demanding they pay £532 because Mr Dearman had not given 14 days notice before he died.

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NottinghamshireLive reports the care home wanted the family to pay from April 15 – the day he died – up to the end of the month (April 29) despite Mr Dearman receiving no care during that period.

His family refused to pay up, but last week they were contacted again by the care home claiming legal action would be taken if the money was not paid in full.

Father-of-two Mr Dearman was described as "a hard-working" dad, with three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

His daughter, Wendy Machen, 66, of Clifton, who works as a nurse, broke down in tears when she described the way the family have been treated.

She said there was "a lack of compassion" by the home who had taken £46,000 a year from Mr Dearman for the care provided.

Wendy told the paper: "Having a bill to pay two weeks after he died to cover the care he never had is just awful.

"Then to threaten us with legal action if we don't pay it. Dad was such a gentleman and never complained.

"We had to do that for him. There has been a lack of compassion by the care home.

"They never even sent us a card when he died. We had a card from the vet when our dog was put down but nothing from them."

His father-in-law Mark Machen, 69, said the family will not pay the bill on the grounds that it is morally wrong to demand money from a man who is dead.

He said: "They told us 'we are a business' and 'what you should have done is given us notice that he was going to die.' How can you give notice when someone is going to die?

NottinghamshireLive contacted Avery Healthcare, which manages the home, about the concerns raised by the family.

They refused to address the points raised and said they are choosing to decline to comment on this occasion.

The Competition and Markets Authority published consumer law advice on the charging of fees after a resident’s death on May 31, 2018.

Coronavirus cases per 100,000 across England

The following list contains the name of the local authority; rate of new cases in the seven days to August 18; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to August 18; rate of new cases in the seven days to August 11; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to August 11.

The list in full is as follows;

  • Oldham 71.7 (170), 112.2 (266)
  • Pendle 67.3 (62), 108.6 (100)
  • Blackburn with Darwen 56.1 (84), 88.2 (132)
  • Leicester 51.4 (182), 70.6 (250)
  • Bradford 45.9 (248), 58.5 (316)
  • Swindon 45.9 (102), 39.2 (87)
  • Manchester 44.9 (248), 42.0 (232)
  • Rochdale 41.8 (93), 45.4 (101)
  • Northampton 39.6 (89), 109.1 (245)
  • Calderdale 33.1 (70), 38.8 (82)
  • Kirklees 32.7 (144), 35.0 (154)
  • Salford 31.7 (82), 32.5 (84)
  • Bury 29.8 (57), 24.6 (47)
  • Craven 29.8 (17), 7.0 (4)
  • Stoke-on-Trent 26.1 (67), 14.4 (37)
  • Birmingham 25.5 (291), 29.2 (333)
  • Newark and Sherwood 25.3 (31), 26.1 (32)
  • Tameside 24.3 (55), 34.9 (79)
  • Preston 23.8 (34), 44.7 (64)
  • Burnley 23.6 (21), 47.2 (42)
  • Hyndburn 23.4 (19), 37.0 (30)
  • Melton 23.4 (12), 19.5 (10)
  • Oadby and Wigston 21.0 (12), 15.8 (9)
  • Wakefield 20.4 (71), 19.8 (69)
  • Trafford 19.8 (47), 25.3 (60)
  • Sandwell 19.8 (65), 28.0 (92)
  • Watford 19.7 (19), 18.6 (18)
  • Coventry 19.1 (71), 18.0 (67)
  • Bolton 18.4 (53), 28.9 (83)
  • East Staffordshire 18.4 (22), 10.0 (12)
  • Corby 18.0 (13), 22.2 (16)
  • Richmond upon Thames 17.7 (35), 8.1 (16)
  • Wolverhampton 17.1 (45), 16.3 (43)
  • Oxford 17.1 (26), 18.4 (28)
  • Leeds 16.9 (134), 15.3 (121)
  • Kettering 16.7 (17), 12.8 (13)
  • Barking and Dagenham 16.4 (35), 9.4 (20)
  • Hammersmith and Fulham 16.2 (30), 13.0 (24)
  • Newcastle upon Tyne 15.9 (48), 9.9 (30)
  • Allerdale 15.3 (15), 8.2 (8)
  • Wellingborough 15.1 (12), 38.9 (31)
  • Telford and Wrekin 15.0 (27), 7.8 (14)
  • Barnsley 15.0 (37), 20.3 (50)
  • Hillingdon 14.7 (45), 11.7 (36)
  • Ealing 14.3 (49), 10.5 (36)
  • Stockport 14.3 (42), 30.7 (90)
  • South Bucks 14.3 (10), 5.7 (4)
  • Liverpool 14.1 (70), 13.7 (68)
  • Woking 13.9 (14), 15.9 (16)
  • Elmbridge 13.2 (18), 5.8 (8)
  • Lincoln 13.1 (13), 14.1 (14)
  • Walsall 13.0 (37), 10.9 (31)
  • Southwark 12.9 (41), 6.9 (22)
  • Peterborough 12.9 (26), 19.8 (40)
  • Blaby 12.8 (13), 6.9 (7)
  • Hounslow 12.5 (34), 17.3 (47)
  • Kingston upon Thames 12.4 (22), 10.1 (18)
  • Sheffield 12.1 (71), 22.6 (132)
  • Barnet 12.1 (48), 9.3 (37)
  • Guildford 12.1 (18), 6.7 (10)
  • Rotherham 12.1 (32), 16.6 (44)
  • Slough 12.0 (18), 25.4 (38)
  • Carlisle 12.0 (13), 22.1 (24)
  • Wandsworth 11.8 (39), 8.5 (28)
  • South Ribble 11.7 (13), 6.3 (7)
  • Wyre 11.6 (13), 6.2 (7)
  • Hackney and City of London 11.3 (33), 11.7 (34)
  • Windsor and Maidenhead 11.2 (17), 4.0 (6)
  • Waltham Forest 11.2 (31), 11.2 (31)
  • St. Helens 11.1 (20), 10.5 (19)
  • Newham 11.0 (39), 8.2 (29)
  • Spelthorne 11.0 (11), 4.0 (4)
  • Sefton 10.9 (30), 8.7 (24)
  • Luton 10.8 (23), 29.1 (62)
  • Harrow 10.8 (27), 7.2 (18)
  • Waverley 10.3 (13), 0.8 (1)
  • Kensington and Chelsea 10.2 (16), 10.9 (17)
  • Merton 10.2 (21), 3.4 (7)
  • Chorley 10.2 (12), 9.3 (11)
  • Haringey 10.1 (27), 7.4 (20)
  • Rutland 10.0 (4), 10.0 (4)
  • Middlesbrough 9.9 (14), 27.7 (39)
  • Epping Forest 9.9 (13), 6.1 (8)
  • Uttlesford 9.9 (9), 2.2 (2)
  • Bristol 9.7 (45), 6.5 (30)
  • East Northamptonshire 9.5 (9), 2.1 (2)
  • St Albans 9.4 (14), 6.1 (9)
  • Ashfield 9.4 (12), 4.7 (6)
  • Bassetlaw 9.4 (11), 22.1 (26)
  • Blackpool 9.3 (13), 8.6 (12)
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme 9.3 (12), 3.1 (4)
  • Solihull 9.2 (20), 8.8 (19)
  • Nuneaton and Bedworth 9.2 (12), 7.7 (10)
  • Tower Hamlets 9.2 (30), 4.0 (13)
  • Bedford 9.2 (16), 4.6 (8)
  • Lambeth 9.2 (30), 5.8 (19)
  • Rugby 9.2 (10), 8.3 (9)
  • Cheshire East 9.1 (35), 7.3 (28)
  • Dacorum 9.0 (14), 5.2 (8)
  • Crawley 8.9 (10), 1.8 (2)
  • Nottingham 8.7 (29), 6.3 (21)
  • County Durham 8.7 (46), 2.8 (15)
  • Knowsley 8.6 (13), 11.3 (17)
  • Three Rivers 8.6 (8), 3.2 (3)
  • Wigan 8.5 (28), 9.1 (30)
  • South Oxfordshire 8.4 (12), 2.1 (3)
  • Gravesham 8.4 (9), 6.5 (7)
  • Rossendale 8.4 (6), 12.6 (9)
  • Staffordshire Moorlands 8.1 (8), 2.0 (2)
  • Harrogate 8.1 (13), 6.8 (11)
  • Stevenage 8.0 (7), 3.4 (3)
  • Gateshead 7.9 (16), 4.9 (10)
  • Wyre Forest 7.9 (8), 0.0 (0)
  • Broxtowe 7.9 (9), 2.6 (3)
  • Brent 7.9 (26), 9.7 (32)
  • West Lancashire 7.9 (9), 8.7 (10)
  • Runnymede 7.8 (7), 3.4 (3)
  • Camden 7.8 (21), 8.5 (23)
  • Fareham 7.7 (9), 1.7 (2)
  • Mid Suffolk 7.7 (8), 2.9 (3)
  • Westminster 7.7 (20), 13.8 (36)
  • High Peak 7.6 (7), 8.6 (8)
  • Aylesbury Vale 7.5 (15), 4.0 (8)
  • Eden 7.5 (4), 18.8 (10)
  • Fylde 7.4 (6), 8.7 (7)
  • Milton Keynes 7.4 (20), 9.3 (25)
  • Welwyn Hatfield 7.3 (9), 4.1 (5)
  • Huntingdonshire 7.3 (13), 6.2 (11)
  • Central Bedfordshire 7.3 (21), 5.2 (15)
  • West Oxfordshire 7.2 (8), 7.2 (8)
  • Redbridge 7.2 (22), 13.1 (40)
  • Broxbourne 7.2 (7), 3.1 (3)
  • South Kesteven 7.0 (10), 4.9 (7)
  • Derby 7.0 (18), 12.0 (31)
  • Charnwood 7.0 (13), 14.5 (27)
  • Daventry 7.0 (6), 2.3 (2)
  • Havering 6.9 (18), 4.6 (12)
  • Cheltenham 6.9 (8), 3.4 (4)
  • Wycombe 6.9 (12), 5.2 (9)
  • Sunderland 6.8 (19), 6.5 (18)
  • Sutton 6.8 (14), 2.4 (5)
  • Hertsmere 6.7 (7), 7.6 (8)
  • Selby 6.6 (6), 2.2 (2)
  • Vale of White Horse 6.6 (9), 6.6 (9)
  • Brentwood 6.5 (5), 5.2 (4)
  • Croydon 6.5 (25), 3.9 (15)
  • Harborough 6.4 (6), 6.4 (6)
  • Rushmoor 6.3 (6), 5.3 (5)
  • Test Valley 6.3 (8), 0.8 (1)
  • West Berkshire 6.3 (10), 1.9 (3)
  • Chiltern 6.3 (6), 8.3 (8)
  • Adur 6.2 (4), 3.1 (2)
  • Dudley 6.2 (20), 6.5 (21)
  • Hinckley and Bosworth 6.2 (7), 4.4 (5)
  • Halton 6.2 (8), 8.5 (11)
  • Hull 6.2 (16), 2.3 (6)
  • Mendip 6.1 (7), 4.3 (5)
  • Reigate and Banstead 6.1 (9), 5.4 (8)
  • Enfield 6.0 (20), 6.9 (23)
  • North Hertfordshire 6.0 (8), 3.0 (4)
  • Cherwell 6.0 (9), 7.3 (11)
  • Lewisham 5.9 (18), 6.9 (21)
  • Rushcliffe 5.9 (7), 1.7 (2)
  • Redcar and Cleveland 5.8 (8), 0.7 (1)
  • Cheshire West and Chester 5.8 (20), 5.5 (19)
  • East Hampshire 5.7 (7), 3.3 (4)
  • Bromley 5.7 (19), 7.8 (26)
  • Herefordshire 5.7 (11), 2.1 (4)
  • Bath and North East Somerset 5.7 (11), 1.6 (3)
  • West Suffolk 5.6 (10), 4.5 (8)
  • Richmondshire 5.6 (3), 11.2 (6)
  • Mansfield 5.5 (6), 1.8 (2)
  • East Devon 5.5 (8), 2.1 (3)
  • Ryedale 5.4 (3), 5.4 (3)
  • Hartlepool 5.3 (5), 5.3 (5)
  • Dartford 5.3 (6), 8.0 (9)
  • Folkestone and Hythe 5.3 (6), 8.8 (10)
  • Northumberland 5.3 (17), 3.1 (10)
  • West Lindsey 5.2 (5), 4.2 (4)
  • Stafford 5.1 (7), 3.6 (5)
  • Gedling 5.1 (6), 2.5 (3)
  • Dover 5.1 (6), 14.4 (17)
  • North East Lincolnshire 5.0 (8), 1.9 (3)
  • Sevenoaks 5.0 (6), 2.5 (3)
  • Epsom and Ewell 5.0 (4), 3.7 (3)
  • Shropshire 5.0 (16), 5.3 (17)
  • Reading 4.9 (8), 8.0 (13)
  • North East Derbyshire 4.9 (5), 12.8 (13)
  • Ribble Valley 4.9 (3), 8.2 (5)
  • North Tyneside 4.8 (10), 7.7 (16)
  • Cambridge 4.8 (6), 13.6 (17)
  • Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole 4.8 (19), 1.8 (7)
  • Wiltshire 4.8 (24), 2.6 (13)
  • Redditch 4.7 (4), 4.7 (4)
  • Amber Valley 4.7 (6), 4.7 (6)
  • East Hertfordshire 4.7 (7), 4.7 (7)
  • Mid Sussex 4.6 (7), 2.6 (4)
  • Wirral 4.6 (15), 5.2 (17)
  • North Warwickshire 4.6 (3), 6.1 (4)
  • Tonbridge and Malling 4.5 (6), 5.3 (7)
  • Islington 4.5 (11), 6.2 (15)
  • Chelmsford 4.5 (8), 2.8 (5)
  • Surrey Heath 4.5 (4), 10.1 (9)
  • Brighton and Hove 4.5 (13), 3.1 (9)
  • Bexley 4.4 (11), 5.6 (14)
  • North Kesteven 4.3 (5), 1.7 (2)
  • Tewkesbury 4.2 (4), 6.3 (6)
  • Warwick 4.2 (6), 4.9 (7)
  • Tendring 4.1 (6), 2.7 (4)
  • Bracknell Forest 4.1 (5), 2.4 (3)
  • Bromsgrove 4.0 (4), 12.0 (12)
  • South Tyneside 4.0 (6), 5.3 (8)
  • Cannock Chase 4.0 (4), 4.0 (4)
  • Tamworth 3.9 (3), 6.5 (5)
  • Lewes 3.9 (4), 7.7 (8)
  • Gloucester 3.9 (5), 10.1 (13)
  • South Gloucestershire 3.9 (11), 3.5 (10)
  • Eastbourne 3.9 (4), 2.9 (3)
  • Ashford 3.8 (5), 4.6 (6)
  • Broadland 3.8 (5), 3.8 (5)
  • Chesterfield 3.8 (4), 10.5 (11)
  • Malvern Hills 3.8 (3), 1.3 (1)
  • York 3.8 (8), 5.2 (11)
  • Eastleigh 3.7 (5), 4.5 (6)
  • Bolsover 3.7 (3), 2.5 (2)
  • Portsmouth 3.7 (8), 2.8 (6)
  • Ipswich 3.7 (5), 3.7 (5)
  • Colchester 3.6 (7), 1.5 (3)
  • Breckland 3.6 (5), 3.6 (5)
  • Southampton 3.6 (9), 3.2 (8)
  • Stockton-on-Tees 3.5 (7), 2.0 (4)
  • Wokingham 3.5 (6), 1.8 (3)
  • North Lincolnshire 3.5 (6), 1.2 (2)
  • Horsham 3.5 (5), 2.8 (4)
  • Greenwich 3.5 (10), 4.9 (14)
  • Erewash 3.5 (4), 5.2 (6)
  • Harlow 3.4 (3), 3.4 (3)
  • Thurrock 3.4 (6), 6.3 (11)
  • Tandridge 3.4 (3), 0.0 (0)
  • Tunbridge Wells 3.4 (4), 4.2 (5)
  • East Cambridgeshire 3.3 (3), 6.7 (6)
  • Cotswold 3.3 (3), 2.2 (2)
  • Stroud 3.3 (4), 3.3 (4)
  • Warrington 3.3 (7), 16.2 (34)
  • Castle Point 3.3 (3), 4.4 (4)
  • Hambleton 3.3 (3), 5.5 (5)
  • North Somerset 3.3 (7), 1.9 (4)
  • Hastings 3.2 (3), 0.0 (0)
  • Doncaster 3.2 (10), 5.1 (16)
  • Havant 3.2 (4), 2.4 (3)
  • South Holland 3.2 (3), 1.1 (1)
  • Arun 3.1 (5), 2.5 (4)
  • Hart 3.1 (3), 4.1 (4)
  • Wychavon 3.1 (4), 3.9 (5)
  • Stratford-on-Avon 3.1 (4), 4.6 (6)
  • Barrow-in-Furness 3.0 (2), 4.5 (3)
  • Fenland 2.9 (3), 5.9 (6)
  • Copeland 2.9 (2), 11.7 (8)
  • East Riding of Yorkshire 2.9 (10), 2.9 (10)
  • Maidstone 2.9 (5), 1.7 (3)
  • North Norfolk 2.9 (3), 1.0 (1)
  • South Lakeland 2.9 (3), 8.6 (9)
  • Norwich 2.8 (4), 2.1 (3)
  • Darlington 2.8 (3), 1.9 (2)
  • Scarborough 2.8 (3), 1.8 (2)
  • Southend-on-Sea 2.7 (5), 3.8 (7)
  • Worthing 2.7 (3), 1.8 (2)
  • Plymouth 2.7 (7), 2.3 (6)
  • South Cambridgeshire 2.5 (4), 1.9 (3)
  • Wealden 2.5 (4), 3.7 (6)
  • Mid Devon 2.4 (2), 1.2 (1)
  • Winchester 2.4 (3), 0.0 (0)
  • Forest of Dean 2.3 (2), 1.2 (1)
  • Mole Valley 2.3 (2), 1.1 (1)
  • New Forest 2.2 (4), 2.8 (5)
  • South Norfolk 2.1 (3), 2.1 (3)
  • East Lindsey 2.1 (3), 1.4 (2)
  • South Northamptonshire 2.1 (2), 4.2 (4)
  • Thanet 2.1 (3), 4.9 (7)
  • Dorset 2.1 (8), 3.4 (13)
  • North Devon 2.1 (2), 1.0 (1)
  • East Suffolk 2.0 (5), 1.6 (4)
  • Braintree 2.0 (3), 3.3 (5)
  • Somerset West and Taunton 1.9 (3), 3.9 (6)
  • North West Leicestershire 1.9 (2), 4.8 (5)
  • South Derbyshire 1.9 (2), 9.3 (10)
  • Canterbury 1.8 (3), 1.8 (3)
  • South Staffordshire 1.8 (2), 2.7 (3)
  • Basingstoke and Deane 1.7 (3), 0.6 (1)
  • Basildon 1.6 (3), 1.1 (2)
  • Exeter 1.5 (2), 3.0 (4)
  • Torbay 1.5 (2), 1.5 (2)
  • Derbyshire Dales 1.4 (1), 0.0 (0)
  • Lancaster 1.4 (2), 4.1 (6)
  • Swale 1.3 (2), 0.7 (1)
  • South Hams 1.1 (1), 2.3 (2)
  • Rochford 1.1 (1), 0.0 (0)
  • Babergh 1.1 (1), 5.4 (5)
  • Cornwall and Isles of Scilly 1.0 (6), 2.6 (15)
  • Rother 1.0 (1), 5.2 (5)
  • Great Yarmouth 1.0 (1), 4.0 (4)
  • Worcester 1.0 (1), 6.9 (7)
  • Lichfield 1.0 (1), 3.8 (4)
  • Sedgemoor 0.8 (1), 4.9 (6)
  • Teignbridge 0.7 (1), 0.0 (0)
  • Medway 0.7 (2), 1.4 (4)
  • King's Lynn and West Norfolk 0.7 (1), 0.7 (1)
  • South Somerset 0.6 (1), 0.6 (1)
  • Boston 0.0 (0), 5.7 (4)
  • Isle of Wight 0.0 (0), 3.5 (5)
  • Maldon 0.0 (0), 3.1 (2)
  • Gosport 0.0 (0), 2.4 (2)
  • West Devon 0.0 (0), 1.8 (1)
  • Chichester 0.0 (0), 0.8 (1)
  • Torridge 0.0 (0), 0.0 (0) 

They are unlikely to object to terms which allow a care home to charge fees:

(a) For no more than a reasonably short and fixed period of up to 3 days from the day following the resident’s death (provided that fees stop being charged if a new resident occupies the room within this period); or

(b) Until possessions are cleared from the resident’s room (by their representatives), provided that the care home will only charge fees for up to a maximum of 10 days.

The CMA and other enforcers, including Trading Standards Services, can take action against care homes that don’t comply with consumer law.

It has already taken action against some care home providers in relation to the charging of certain upfront fees and charging fees for extended periods of time after a resident’s death.

  • Coronavirus
  • Money
  • Family

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