The government is to introduce new regulations making it harder for care homes to ask for top-up fees from families with relatives in care.
As of April 2015, care homes will not be able to request a top-up fee from families without prior legal agreement with the local authority.
This legal agreement, moreover, would need to be signed by the families themselves.
The new regulations, released by the government last week, will be introduced under the Care Act and would effectively make it very difficult for care homes to get top-up fees approved.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Independent Age policy and external relations spokesman Simon Bottery said the change would “have a significant impact on the lives of families already under financial pressure”.
“Care homes have no right to ask families to pay this money and it is illegal for them to do so. They are exploiting families at a time of crisis, who only want to do the best for their elderly relative,” he added.
Norman Lamb, minister of state at the Department of Health, recently criticised care homes for “constantly ratcheting” up fees, describing it as “unacceptable exploitation”.