Relatives & Residents Association

We support, inform and speak on behalf of older people in care


Case Studies

Access to care home records

Miss P called the helpline as she was trying to gain access to her deceased mothers care notes from her former care home, which was refusing to provide them citing data protection rules. Miss P said she had done some preliminary research herself and that she believed that the rules cited by the care home only applied to living people.

Our helpline worker confirmed Miss P’s understanding, and that the care home was wrong to rely on the current General Data Protection Rules, in order to block access to her mother’s care note and advised her that as the executor of her mother’s will, to request access to the records under the 1990 Access to Health Records Act instead.

Miss P rang back the very next day to tell us that she had done as advised and that the care home had ”reconsidered” and that they were sending her the notes she had requested.

‘’Thank you so much, you’ve been very helpful’’

Acting as Carer

Mr G had been living with his parents for many years, providing care for both before his father died.  Struggling to care for his mother, he had asked the local authority to reassess her needs.  When the local authority agreed that his mother needed to move into a care home, Mr G was initially relieved. However, he was now worried about the house they shared and contacted our Helpline for advice.

Mr G was worried that he would need to sell the house to pay for his mother’s care. He didn’t think he could afford to stay in local area and would be forced to move away from his mother.

Our Helpline worker reassured Mr G that he could remain in his home, after establishing his mother’s financial position. His mother’s capital meant she would be seen as a ‘self-funder’ until after his 60 birthday.  Ensuring the house would be ignored from her financial assessment.

“It’s good that you guys are there, as you can tell, I’m finding this hard to deal with and you really help”.



Challenging Care Home Top-ups

Warren rang our Helpline after he was told by his wife’s social worker that he needed to pay over £1000 per month in top-up fees or she would have to move to a cheaper home. She had moved into the care home 10 years ago, having moved from a number of care homes which were unable to deal with her violent outbursts.

After talking through his wife’s rights and their options, R&RA’s Helpline Worker emailed Warren details of the relevant legislation, suggesting he challenge any move as presenting an unreasonable risk to her health and welfare.

Warren contacted the Helpline, elated and relieved, to say that “the advice had been spot on” and the local council had agreed to meet the full cost of her care placement and not move her.

“Excellent and expert advice – thank you”

Empowering Relatives

Mrs A rang the Helpline in great distress. Her father had been in a care home for some time and was happy there. But the local authority had moved her mother into a different care home as an emergency after she became ill. Mrs A was struggling to move her mother to her father’s care home, so that they could be together. She felt the local authority was being unhelpful and oblivious to the impact on her parents.

R&RA’s Helpline worker talked Mrs A through various options, including her parents’ legal rights and the local authority’s discretionary powers. Empowered by her new knowledge, Mrs A again challenged the local authority’s decision and re-assert the needs of her parents.

Mrs A rang back to thank us after the local authority agreed to move her mother into the same care home as her father.

“I cannot thank you enough, without your help I don’t know how I would have coped”


Helping to Move to the Right Home

Mrs Baker rang our Helpline after her husband had been discharged from hospital into another and more expensive care home, some distance from where she lived. He was unhappy there as, unlike his previous home, it was much larger and more impersonal. He felt lost in it. She was very upset as she did not think he was getting the care he needed nor how she could meet the additional demanded £500 per week top-up.

Living in a village with no access to a computer or vehicle, she had been excluded from the discharge decisions. She had tried to get help from the local council since the move but without success.

With her permission we contacted the council on her behalf to request an immediate review of his placement and challenge it as unsafe. As a result, Mr Baker was visited by a social worker two days later and it was agreed that he should be moved back to his previous care home, where he was happy, with no need for Mrs Baker to top up his fees. Mr and Mrs Baker also received an apology from the council.

Mrs Baker later wrote to us to tell us that Mr Baker was now settled back in his original home and said “Thank you so much, without you I was lost fighting the council.”

Local authority support to self-funders

At the height of the pandemic Polly’s former residential home would not accept her back as a resident on discharge from a dementia specialist hospital unit, citing their inability to safely meet her care needs.

The situation was further complicated as Polly had other health complications which meant she was unable to take the Covid 19 vaccination, and services had a ‘no jab no entry’ policy. As a self-funder, Polly’s daughter, Diane, was trying to arrange the care and was not given any assistance by the local authority when she reached out to them for support.

Diane rang and spoke to the Relatives & Residents Association helpline. Several options were discussed, including the power for local authorities under the Care Act statutory guidance to arrange care home placements for privately funded residents.

Diane rang her mother’s local authority the next day and quoted the relevant part of the statutory guidance to them. They changed their minds immediately and agreed to help.

This was the first time Diane had contacted R&RA’s helpline, although she had previously joined as a member in support of our work. Diane rang to thank R&RA and said ‘’I am so pleased I joined you as a member, you’re doing an amazing job’’.

A vital cause

If you approve of what we do or have been helped by the R&RA please consider making a donation or becoming an R&RA member to help us continue this vital work. Thank you!

We have no endowments or guaranteed funding so rely on the loyalty of our members and the support of our generous donors to continue our work.


020 7359 8136

Open 9.30am-1pm Mon-Fri and Thursdays 6-8pm

We take the time to listen

Our Helpline advisers are real experts in the care field and happy to cope with referrals from other advice or befriending lines when more in-depth knowledge is needed.

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