Thousands of elderly people have had to give up their properties because of bureaucratic blunders forced them to pay for care which should have been free, lawyers have stated.
More than 30,000 pensioners had to sell their homes last year to pay for their care home fees but Andrew Farley, partner for law firm Farley Dwek Solicitors has said that many of them should have had the costs covered by the NHS.
Mr Farley, who is representing affected families, explained that patients receiving residential care were supposed to have regular reviews of the care and funding, but thousands of families have reported that these did not take place.
The NHS has admitted the error at set a deadline of 30 September for families who were owed money between 1 April 2004 and 31 March 2011 respectively to reclaim the cash.
As many as 100,000 people could be eligible to reclaim the millions of pounds worth of funding but, so far, only 5,750 have taken up cases.
Mr Farley described the blunders as a "national scandal affecting many thousands of families across the country." He added: "Even if the person is now deceased, families can still reclaim money that is rightly owed to them."