Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

29th July 2020

If the bed provided by the service isn’t suitable for a Resident, can an alternative be purchased?

Can a care home ask a resident or their relative to buy a new bed because the one supplied by the home is not wide enough?

Dear D

Thank you for your question. Your email doesn’t say if it’s the resident that wants a wider bed or it is because there is a clinical need. Although it isn't mentioned in the question if the resident requires a specific bed for medical reasons and on the advice of clinicians then the question is would the NHS supply the bed if the person were in their own home? If the NHS would supply to people in their own homes then the person in a care home should receive exactly the same service. Over the years this right has become muddied because the NHS has argued that residents are in a private facility. The point is that the person in the care home has the same entitlement as any other patient.

In 2018 the CMA ( The Competition and Market Authority) published guidance for Care Home providers on what providers need to do to comply with consumer regulations. One of the areas is about making sure information about what costs and fees are required, what services and facilities are available and information about the home, in general, is provided before someone moves in. The contract must also be clear about these areas too. If a resident has changing needs, this must be met by the home. If the bed isn’t suitable then an assessment by an occupational therapist would be recommended and the cost of a new bed, depending on what the terms and conditions say, is likely to be the responsibility of the home.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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