Northumberland County Council is making an extra £1m available for care home fees after agreeing a new payment structure.
The new structure raises the lowest weekly rate by 8% from £456.86 to £494.01. The highest available fees, including Funded Nursing Care and all premiums, go up by 6% from £690.55 to £728.94.
Martin Green, CEO of Care England, told Care Home Professional: “Northumberland County Council has finally acknowledged that the fees they have been paying to care providers are unsustainable and has brought forward a much-needed increase. Even with this increase, the lowest level of fees works out at about £2.95 an hour, which is still a very low fee to deliver care and support to people with high level needs.
“Northumberland, like every other authority, needs to start thinking long-term and providing a fee structure that enables providers to deliver high quality services and invest in the future.”
Northumberland County Council said the contract had been accepted by some providers who had previously been in dispute over fee rates, including the region’s largest provider Four Seasons (see Fees row causes care home chaos).
The new structure bases fee rates on the CQC rating of a home offering Gold, Silver and Bronze rates for Outstanding, Good and other homes, respectively.