Private care sector ‘subsidising’ councils, says care leader

Renaissance Care chair Robert Kilgour

Robert Kilgour, chair of Renaissance Care, one of Scotland’s leading care home providers, says he has proof that the independent sector is subsidising local authorities.

The Renaissance Care boss is calling for an investigation by the public sector watchdog after having obtained a breakdown of costs through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.

The FOIs reveal a gulf between the £594 allocated by the local authorities to the cost of care and the weekly costs they allocate their own homes, The Scotsman reported.

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Shetland Council estimated weekly care costs per resident in their own care homes at £1,338 to £1,789, while Perth and Kinross Council pays from £920 to £1,825, and South Lanarkshire Council gave a weekly figure of between £919 and £1,572.

Robert said: “The responses show there is no level playing field when it comes to funding elderly care in Scotland. How can local councils expect independent care homes to operate on far lower funding than their own homes?

“I want to highlight the double standards in operation. Local councils are not being realistic and honest in recognising the true costs of care.”

The Four Seasons founder said the Scottish care sector was at “tipping point” earlier this year after having to close one of his homes (see Four Seasons founder warns Scottish care system at ‘tipping point’).

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Clearly value for money is a crucial part of delivering any public service and we would expect councils to be open and transparent about their spending. In 2018/19, councils will receive funding through the local government finance settlement of £10.7 billion. This will provide a real terms boost in both revenue and capital funding for public services.”

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