R(S) v Dudley Primary Care Trust
In this recently heard case the High Court considered a judicial review claim brought by a continuing healthcare (CHC) eligible patient, challenging the PCT’s refusal to meet all of the costs of his placement in a care home. Mr S alleged that the PCT’s failure to meet the full placement costs meant he had to pay a “top-up” which amounted to an illegal charge for NHS care. The PCT successfully defended the claim.
The PCT refused to meet the full costs of the placement chosen by Mr S as, in the PCT’s view, the costs in excess of their standard rate related to desirable but not necessary accommodation facilities including a kitchenette.
The court rejected Mr S’s allegations against the PCT. The court accepted that as long as PCTs secure care provision free of charge for CHC patients, it is acceptable for patients to make payments to secure other items and facilities which are not necessary to meet their healthcare needs. This case confirms the legality of CHC patients making contributions to placement costs where their contribution relates to non-necessary items and facilities. Dudley Primary Care Trust were represented by Mills & Reeve in this case.