Newham admin backlog leaves older residents waiting for care bills

Elderly people who contribute towards their care have been receiving their bills late because of a b

Elderly people who contribute towards their care have been receiving their bills late because of a backlog in admin. - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Vulnerable elderly residents could be at risk from a nasty shock over the size of their care bills because of a six-month town hall backlog in processing their invoices.

Hundreds of residents in public and private sheltered accommodation, as well as those receiving help from carers at home, pay a contribution towards their care for which they are usually billed monthly,

But problems upgrading the Town Hall’s computer system has meant the council is six months behind with the paperwork which could, according to the relative of one care home resident, land them with arrears totalling thousands of pounds

Kris Sangari said his 74-year-old close relative, who has been a resident of sheltered accommodation at Amber Court, High Road, Stratford, since February, hadn’t received a bill until mid-July.

Kris said: “He has dementia and I handle his financial affairs. If I hadn’t put aside £90 each week, he would have owed just over £2,000.

“I was expecting these payments, but others may not be as organised and could get a shock when the bill eventually arrives.”

He said many are having to budget months in advance because their bills are not arriving on time.

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Kris said: “Other people in the block are in the same position.

“It just seems like a very inefficient way to run a system of care.”

A Newham Council spokesman said a computer system upgrade is being introduced and apologised to residents whose invoices are delayed: “We are working hard to make sure residents at Amber Court who contribute towards the cost of the care support services they receive are able to do so as efficiently as possible.

“New systems are being introduced to help ensure customers can manage the cost of their care better. We are sorry if, in the meantime, we are not getting invoices to people as quickly as we would like.

“The situation is improving and we are working on getting invoices out every four weeks.

“Customers who may be experiencing problems with paying for their care can contact our charging team on 020 3373 1184 so that the appropriate assistance and advice can be given.”