Care England slams ‘derisory’ care home fee rise

Professor Martin Green.

Care England has slammed Sheffield City Council after it announced it was raising weekly care home fees to £463.

The council, whose fees are low compared with neighbouring parts of Yorkshire, said it had made the increase in the face of rising demand from its ageing population.

Martin Green, CEO of Care England, told Care Home Professional: “The new fees announced by Sheffield Council are totally inadequate and represent £2.75 per hour to look after people with high level needs and multiple health conditions.

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“It is time local authorities understood that they cannot get away with paying less than the true cost of care, and these derisory fee levels will lead to a reduction in capacity and the residents of Sheffield being left without services.”

Councillor Cate McDonald, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “We have met with providers and are confident this new approach is fair.

“It’s significant how seriously this council takes its responsibility for caring for vulnerable older people.

“This is a higher than inflation increase in a very difficult financial climate but we need to ensure there is sufficient provision for an ageing population.”

Sheffield has 78 independent care homes for the elderly, providing 3,209 beds. There are 13,000 people over 85 in the city and this number is expected to rise to 19,000 by 2030.

A council report said: “The market in the city has remained relatively stable over the last 12 months, however, there continues to be a significant demand for places and the occupancy of care homes remains relatively high.

“If the demand increases there is a risk that there will be insufficient places at the right quality and price for the people who need them.”

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