Leading care home operator Barchester Healthcare has announced a 5.9% annual uplift in its fees to cover additional cost pressures caused by the COVID pandemic.
Barchester acknowledged government support during the crisis but added it had failed to cover its cost increases.
A spokesperson said: “Our focus, as a high quality care provider, that is outperforming others in the care sector, as measured by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the Scottish Care inspectorate and the Care Inspectorate Wales, is to deliver the best quality of care for our residents, along with keeping our costs as low as possible. Our most recent resident contract outlines an annual uplift of 5.9% which is less than the increase in our cost base.
“Needless to say there are always cost pressures, and this year more than most, and we have been grateful for the government support towards this, but it has by no means covered our overall cost increases, despite us working hard to remain as efficient as possible.
“In addition as part of that annual uplift we think it is important to recognise and reward our staff across our homes and hospitals who continue to work tirelessly in very difficult circumstances and we are proud to say that we are an above national minimum wage and national living wage employer.”
The free rise drew an angry response from some residents’ family members.
One relative told the Daily Mail that she would have to move her father, who lives with dementia, to another home as a result of the fee hike.
“I feel so distraught and angry because we’ll have to move him because of these increases and he’s settled,” she said. “The level of stress on top of not being able to care for him and visit last year is almost unbearable.”