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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70696
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My parents went for respite at a residence which supposedly

Customer Question

My parents went for respite at a residence which supposedly catered for demetia. We were told they only did 30 day respite because of settling in and disorientation. We had to pay over £8000.00 up front for the 30 days. I was assured they could deal with my parents condition and appropriate care was available.
My mother in particular, was distressed about not being at home as she was unable to find her way around. I was told notices would be put in the room to assist, which didn't happen. After 17 nights they were becoming more fretful and agitated so I decided they would be better if I took them back home.
I was given the remaining medication as I left and when I looked at it, there had been several doses which had been missed, not given correctly.
I have spoken to the coordination manager who admitted them and asked that they make a refund for having to cut the visit short but she insists that it is none returnable.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
If they didn't provide what was promised and didn't give medication correctly should I be entitled to some refund

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

They are in breach of the provisions of the Supply of Goods and Services Act in that they have failed to carry out the contracted job with reasonable care and skill, and indeed, some parts of it such as the signage they appear not to have carried out at all. For that reason you do have a claim.

Your parents got some benefit from this presumably, and therefore it would not be a total refund but because of the stress obviously suffered by your parents, it is probably more than a pro rata amount based on the period of time they were there.

Claims for stress are always difficult. Its not a head of compensation in the UK and anyway they do not seem to have full mental capacity. They were also not party to the contract. The home does have a duty of care nevertheless. It is a separate cause of action - in breach of duty of care - that they have. For that reason, its probably not worth pursuing a claim for stress.

I would not try to deal with this on the telephone, but I would put everything in writing.

Write to them telling them that you believe they are in breach of the Act and seek a refund for at least 13 nights within the next 10 days. Make clear that in default you will issue small claims court proceedings without further notice.

If you are claiming approximately £3000, it will be Small Claims Court and therefore you will not have to pay legal costs even if you lose for any reason.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I have spoken to the person in charge of the care side about the missed medication and she said if the person was asleep then they don't wake them up for the medication

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
That seems reasonable but it doesn't explain the other failings.
Jo C. and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Can you please tell me if this letter is acceptable?

ref: Request of a partial refund for care payment. mr. & Mrs ...

dear Ms ..
I am writing with regards to recent respite care at Sunrise and your failure to carry out the contracted job with reasonable care and skill and indeed some parts of it you did not carry out at all.

I believe you are in breach of the provisions of the supply of goods and services act and seek a refund for 13 nights, less reasonable expenses incurred, within the next 10 days.

Should you default on this then small claims court proceedings will be issued without further notice.

Yours sincerely

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Yes, that is fine.

Obviously it might not succeed but you have warned them.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
If I decided to take this to a small claims court, would I get any leagal aid?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No. Legal aid is not available at the small claims court but there are very limited costs anyway.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
When I researched legal aid it said if you are not successful you could be responsible for the defendants expenses such as solicit loo fees.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Not at the small claims court unless they can show that you have behaved unreasonably.