Flintshire Council fights to save care homes amid dispute over maximum charges

Flintshire Council claims that at least three properties under its control could be closed if a maximum limit on care home charges isn’t scrapped.

Council chiefs have pledged to lobby the Welsh Government for reform to the funding of the social care sector in Wales – insisting that a £60 maximum weekly limit on charges for home care services does not cover its costs.

The authority says that income from home care falls “well below” the costs of provision, which is losing the council nearly £1m.

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Council leader Aaron Shotton told the Daily Post that the care sector is facing “significant challenges” in Flintshire and Wales, but said he is determined to save Llys Gwenffrwd in Holywell, Croes Atti in Flint, Marleyfield in Buckley and the county’s home care services.

Cllr Shotton said: “There are some significant challenges, not least because of finance issues but also increasing demand – our elderly population is growing. We know that we have some significant challenges and the approach we are taking in other areas is trying to look forward to save services and defend services.

“At a time when we are seeing other authorities’ services reduce, we are working on a plan to extend extra care, to increase the amount of home care provided directly by the council and retain our care homes.”

The report said that Flintshire council has carried out a Residential Care Review in a bid to find solutions to the mounting pressures.

As well as managing the rising elderly population, extra costs incurred by the introduction of the National Living Wage, as well as trouble recruiting and retaining care workers, are also proving to be huge challenges.

While the council is bidding to do all it can to secure the future of residential and home care services, it is urging the Welsh Government to provide more assistance.

Cllr Shotton said: “We need positive discussions with the Welsh Government and it is the political will of the Cabinet to retain facilities, but how we do that is the subject of discussions.”

A meeting is due to be held this Friday at which the review will be discussed by Flintshire’s social and health care overview and scrutiny committee.

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