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Care England slams ‘unacceptable’ LA care home fees

Consumers Feel The Pinch With Christmas Around The Corner

Independent care home providers are being paid less than £500 per week, or just £2.97 an hour, to look after the elderly, according to research.

The list of 30 councils was gathered through FOI requests by Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care.

Care England said the fee levels were radically lower than the average costs of an economically run residential home as revealed by research by LaingBuisson. The LaingBuisson analysis found average weekly care home costs ranged from £623 to £726, dependent on standard of accommodation and whether or not they were supporting people living with dementia.

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Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “It is unacceptable that independent care homes must restrict the pay and conditions of their staff and subsidise care which councils underfund. Ultimately independent care homes may close with the terrible consequences for residents forced to find new homes and staff losing their jobs.”

Care England’s analysis revealed that some councils within the list of 30 local authorities were paying less than £500 to independent care homes while providing much higher rates to their own homes. One council, for example, was found to be paying £650 for its own care home versus less than £500 to an independent provider.

Martin added: “It cannot be right that older people in independent homes are treated so differently when they are aiming, as all independent homes are, to provide good quality care with well paid staff. The recently announced significantly increased 2020/21 rates for the National Minimum Wage will put even more stress on underfunded homes and means paying homes under £500 for residential care can simply no longer be justified.”

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “People of all ages should be able to live the lives they want to lead and councils are committed to doing all they can to make this happen, while working closely with individuals and their families.

“The provider market is an essential part of the care and support system and councils also work closely with local care providers to ensure a good quality market of services. However, given the serious funding and demand pressures facing adult social care there is a known gap between what providers say they need and what councils pay.

“The forthcoming Budget is an important opportunity to address this crucial issue of funding while looking ahead to finding a longer-term, cross-party solution to adult social care, which the Government has committed to achieving and which we at the LGA are happy to play our part in.”

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The author Lee Peart

4 Comments

  1. If £750 is calculated as weekly cost – what is happening to the ‘profit’ made from private residents paying well over £1000 – and equally neglected with poor staff, poor food, lack of activities and social interaction.
    Cost is a smokescreen excuse for poor care

    1. It may be £1000 a week in the south, but in small towns in the north (most of which pay <£500 with some paying less than <£300 for residential needs as mentioned in the article) those fees are unheard of.

      This is because of two factors, very few people qualifying as private service users (often <15% of total occupancy) and of those that qualify as private service users, there is a very weak property market behind them, resulting in very low fees (ceiling fees often being £600 a week for a private residential service user in most towns).
      The cost of care is also very similar for the north and south , there is no disparity in wages and supply costs. So as the article states, the low or lack of fees predominately in the north has left the market at breaking point.

  2. Yes, the forthcoming Budget is an important opportunity to address this crucial issue of funding, but will it. Boris has promised, but will he keep his promise and even if money is made available will it be sufficient.

    It is essential we keep the pressure on Boris and my petition ‘Solve the crisis in Social Care could be the means, please see below

    We now have the New Year 2020.

    However, if the ‘Crisis in Social Care’ is not Solved soon there will not be many more New Years for the care, required for persons in need of care, to be provided by Local Authorities due to their lack of funding.

    This will then have a much greater impact on health care provision, which is itself in crisis.

    I have therefore created my latest petition, please follow the link

    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/solve-the-crisis-in-social-care

    For more information please follow the link

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/w0f2skyxy37udqb/Solve%20the%20crisis%20in%20Social%20Care.docx?dl=0

  3. I sincerely doubt that the costs of care homes are as high as being implied here. When you live in a care home it’s little better than a bedsit. It’s a room that you’re living in. The food is provided in communal areas, there are generally no cooking facilities for residents. The main cost is the care that the person is receiving and the majority of staff in these places aren’t receiving a great deal of money in the first place. Another important factor in this is that the staff aren’t caring for only one patient at a time. You might have a care home with 20 staff and 80 residents. That’s 4 residents to every one member of staff. Each member of staff isn’t even getting paid the equivalent of the cost of care for 1 individual resident. The idea that care homes are strapped for cash is laughable. These aren’t fancy hotels where people are being fed the best of food and have a full sky TV package and nightly entertainment. These places provide the minimum standard of care under regulations. It’s not expensive to provide that level of care. The utter nerve of these claims is patently ridiculous.

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