Expert legal advice from the competition lawyers

Latest in the care homes consumer protection case

First published by Matt on January 11, 2019 in the following categories: Care Homes and tagged with |

retirement homes investigation

The latest update in the care homes consumer protection case is a big one. Letters before action have been issued against Care UK.

According to the latest from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), a letter before action has been sent to Social Care Holdings Limited and Care UK Community Partnerships Limited. Together, they make up ‘Care UK’.

The reasons for the latest action comes are a period of consultation and a lack of undertakings being provided.

Letters before action in the care homes consumer protection case

The letters before action being issued as part of the care homes consumer protection case came after a period of consultation in accordance with the Enterprise Act 2002, according to the CMA.

It’s understood that Care UK has now stopped charging administration fees at the start of August last year. However, they’ve reportedly failed to provide the CMA with satisfactory undertakings. This is said to include undertakings about financial compensation for consumers.

The CMA say that their intention is to issue claim against Care UK with a number of legislation in their arsenal, including:

  • Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999;
  • Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008;
  • Consumer Rights Act 2015.

Final advice published in the care homes consumer protection case

The final advice concerning the care homes consumer protection case was published by the CMA just a month before the December 2018 letter before action.

This included guidance for care homes about what sort of upfront information they need to give consumers so they can make fully informed decisions. It also included guidance for ensuring contracts terms are fair, and for complaints to be handled with the interests of the consumer at heart.

An open letter was also sent to the care home sector on the whole as well.

What’s next for the care homes consumer protection case?

Hopefully, the guidance issued and the pre-action letters will allow for positive resolutions all round in the care homes consumer protection case. It’s a shame that further action has had to be threatened to ensure that the industry complies with vital competition law. Hopefully, Care UK will respond cooperatively.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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