A grieving daughter was forced to pay an extra �3,000 to her father's care home - after failing to give them 28 days notice of his death. Sue Cann was 'shocked' when she learnt small print in the contract for dad Kenneth's care stated the private home required four weeks warning of his passing away. Miss Cann, 54, has now been landed with the hefty charge and said it was 'ridiculous' people needed to give prior notice of when they were going to die. She said she is appalled by the 'callous' conduct of the Highcliffe Nursing Home in Dorset. In a letter sent to her a day after her 79 year-old father's funeral, they stated: "...a notice period of four weeks (28 days) is required in event of a resident moving out or passing away." Miss Cann said: "When the letter came I was so shocked about it.
"According to the letter my father had to give 28 days notice for moving or passing away. But how on earth can you do that? Nobody knows when they are going to die. It's ridiculous. In effect they are saying that you have to pay 28 days after you have passed away. I think that is really so callous. When you have died and can't give notice of your death that's taking advantage and it's daylight robbery." Mr Cann, who spent 42 years working as a service manager for British Gas, had lived with wife, Winnie, but she passed away aged 74 in March last year from ovarian cancer. He was admitted to the seaside nursing home, run by Suffolk-based Kingsley Healthcare, 17 months ago after a long battle with dementia. He died on January 30.
Mr Cann, who paid taxes all his working life and saved for his retirement, ended up spending �63,000 on his care for the short time he was there. Miss Cann said she understands the extra fee is to cover the period from her father dying to the home getting a new tenant in. She said: "I wouldn't mind paying for a week but I really object to a whole month. To pay for a month which covers his food, laundry and nursing care it is daylight robbery. His belonging were removed from the home on the evening of his death as far as I'm aware. He shared a room so it was clean for the other occupant. And to receive the letter the day after his funeral was insensitive. I understand that the nursing home would not necessarily know when his funeral was, although the home sent flowers for his coffin because I informed them. But the letter came from head office."
Miss Cann said she felt she had no choice but to pay for �3,052 bill. A spokesman for Kingsley Healthcare said that they were changing their notice period for death from 28 days to seven days, which is in line with most other care homes. Ian Jarvis, finance director for Kingsley said: "We have now reviewed our administrative procedures, including the provision of notices relating to termination following death. We have decided to reduce the notice period on death to seven days with immediate effect. We do not wish to comment any further on the specific circumstances which brought this matter to our attention as this would be a breach of confidentiality."