A guide to the recovery of hospice care costs. Personal Injury

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1 A guide to the recovery of hospice care costs Personal Injury

2 The future of hospice care costs A landmark High Court ruling secured by Irwin Mitchell now allows hospices across the country to claim back some of the costs associated with the end of life care of innocent mesothelioma victims. After initially recovering 10,000 in costs for the hospice at the centre of the test case, we have recovered thousands of pounds for hospices across the UK.

3 3 What is mesothelioma? Mesothelioma is a form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It most commonly affects the lining of the lung [pleura] but can also occur in the lining of the abdomen [peritoneum] and the heart [pericardium]. The disease usually takes years to develop and the only known cause is exposure to asbestos dust. Despite knowledge of the harmful effects of asbestos, the substance was widely used in industry until the midlate 1970s. There is no known cure for the 2,200 plus victims diagnosed with mesothelioma in the UK each year, which more often than not leads to hospices providing terminal care. Throughout his final few months the staff at St Gemma s were absolutely fantastic and we are just so pleased that Irwin Mitchell were able to help recover the costs so that they can continue to provide such a good service for others. Gloria Boaden, widow of Len Boaden, whose case raised 30,000 for St Gemma s Hospice in Leeds To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back

4 The landmark case James Willson was 20-yearsold when he finished his National Service and went to work erecting new boilers at Deptford Power Station in south east London, where he was regularly exposed to asbestos. More than 50 years on in 2006 he was diagnosed with mesothelioma and sadly passed away in March 2007 after 23 days at St Joseph s Hospice in Hackney. Mr Willson s family welcomed the additional care St Joseph s staff provided to helped to ease his pain and felt compelled to give something back to the staff who gave so much support. But, like many families, they were restricted by limited funds. Irwin Mitchell represented Mr Willson s family and successfully recovered over 10,000 for St Joseph s in a landmark judgement which found that the defendant Foster Wheeler Limited, who employed Mr Willson when he was exposed to asbestos, should pay the costs for the care provided by St Joseph s both at the hospice and when he was at home.

5 5 The family reaction It was important to my family to show how grateful we were to St Joseph s Hospice, which had provided so much excellent support and comfort for us and my father as his pain became worse towards the end. Donations to the Hospice are voluntary but my sister and I were determined to ensure that something was done. We could not be more delighted by the outcome which means that the hospice will recover most of the costs generated while caring for my father and these can now be used to care for someone else. Catherine Drake, Mr Willson s daughter To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back

6 Q&A What does this mean for our hospice? It means that the law permits you, as part of a claim for compensation by the mesothelioma sufferer or their estate, to recover the costs of care provided by your hospice to them from the person or company that caused their illness. This may apply to outpatient treatment and therapies where these services have been provided to the sufferer by the hospice. Is there a limit to how much can be claimed? The case did not set any limit on the amount that could be claimed. However, it will be necessary to prove that the claim is reasonable. Can the full hospice costs be claimed? No. In the example of Mr Willson s estate, they were able to claim the costs to the hospice that had been provided by charitable donations but not the amounts provided by NHS funding. Can you give me an example of how this might work in practice? A successful claim is brought by the executors of the will of Mr Jones. Mr Jones was in the hospice for 20 days in the period leading up to his death. The hospice is 40% funded by the NHS. The hospice is able to provide evidence that its costs per patient, per day are x 20 days x 60% (non-nhs funded element) = 4,800 that would be given to the hospice. Our hospice receives all of its funding from the NHS. Can a claim be brought? No. Only the element of the cost to the hospice not funded by the NHS can be claimed.

7 7 We know that a patient in the hospice died of mesothelioma. Can a claim be brought independently? No. The hospice only has the right to bring a claim via the person who had the illness or their representatives. Will the hospice be contacted by the solicitors acting on behalf of a mesothelioma sufferer making a claim? Yes. The solicitors will contact the hospice to make sure the amount being claimed is correct, as the funding arrangements of hospices can vary across the country. What about data protection? If a solicitor requests information from the hospice they should include a form of authority which is signed by whoever is making the claim. If such a form is not provided, information relating to a patient should be withheld until written authority has been given. Will the hospice receive payment in all cases where information is requested? The hospice will only be reimbursed where it has been possible to bring a successful claim. Where a claim is not successful, the hospice will not be able to recover any of its costs. Does this ruling apply to other occupational diseases? Whilst the case of Mr Willson was only concerned with mesothelioma, the same principles are likely to apply to other cancers where the link between the condition and negligent employers can be proved. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back

8 Looking for help with a claim? Freephone Text claim to and someone will call you back Irwin Mitchell Birmingham Imperial House, 31 Temple Street, B2 5DB Bristol One Castlepark, Tower Hill, BS2 0JA Glasgow 5th Floor, 150 St Vincent Street, G2 5NE Leeds 2 Wellington Place, LS1 4BZ London 40 Holborn Viaduct, EC1N 2PZ Manchester Bauhaus Rossetti Place, 27 Quay Street, M3 4AW Newcastle upon Tyne Gainsborough House, Grey Street, NE1 6AE Sheffield Riverside East, 2 Millsands, S3 8DT Irwin Mitchell Consulting Office Leicester Suite 122, 1st Floor, Gateway House, 4 Pennman Way, Grove Business Park, Enderby, LE19 1SY Irwin Mitchell Abogados Madrid Torre Picasso, Plaza Pablo Ruiz Picasso 1, 11B, Madrid 28020, Spain Málaga Calle Puerta del Mar 15, 2º, Málaga, Spain 2011 Consultations are by appointment only. Irwin Mitchell LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England & Wales, with number OC343897, and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. All Scottish cases will be handled by a separate Scottish legal practice, Irwin Mitchell Scotland LLP, which is regulated by the Law Society of Scotland.

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