The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is seeking public input to help them develop a set of guidelines for standard form contracts for long-term residential care services.
“In long-term residential care services, the contract of care is a vital legal document as it sets out the terms and conditions and the rights and responsibilities that the resident is bound by,” said CCPC member Fergal O’Leary.
“Most contracts of care are standard in that the terms have been drafted in advance, and so there may be little or no opportunity for the older person, or their representative, to negotiate or change these terms.”
Anyone who has been involved with organising a contract of care in Ireland, whether as a resident or the family or representative of a resident can submit their input.
“For older consumers, the decision to enter a care home is significant,” O’Leary said.
“In addition to the personal implications, there are significant financial commitments attached to this care. For many, this is the most significant contract that they, or their families, will sign up to in their lifetime.”
The consultation paper is available online, and the CCPC will be taking submissions until February 23.
“At the end of this examination, we want to produce a set of guidelines to inform service providers who are providing standard care contracts of their obligations under consumer protection law,” said O’Leary said.
“The project and this public consultation in particular has been designed to ensure that the guidelines we produce are informed by the experiences of both consumers and traders.”