NHS Forced To Pay £180m To Patients After Over-Charging For Nursing Care

Thousands of elderly people were charged too much for nursing care by the NHS. Patients wrongly charged for nursing care have had to be repaid a total of £180million by the Health Service, it has emerged.

More than 12,000 cases have been examined, of which around 2,000 resulted in repayments to the patients or their families.

The bill could rise as some 1,300 cases are still being looked at.

The reviews involve patients charged for long-term nursing and social care from 1996 to 2004.

NHS chiefs had been told to fund care packages where the main area of need was health-related rather than just personal care, such as aid with bathing or dressing.

The rules were interpreted differently across England, meaning some patients ended up paying more.

In 2003, the Health Service Ombudsman said the Government’s guidance on the eligibility of patients for NHS-funded care places had been “misinterpreted and misapplied” by some health authorities.

So some patients suffered “injustice” by being asked to pay.