Commissioning overhaul required to solve care bed crisis

Jane Townson

Somerset Care has called for a “thorough review” of care home commissioning in order to avoid a care home capacity crisis.

The South West provider’s comments follow BBC research which shows that almost 3,000 people will not be able to find care home placements by the end of 2018 (see Care home capacity crisis revealed).

Dr Jane Townson, Chief Executive of the Somerset Care Group, said: “As a not-for-profit care company, with 28 care homes across Somerset, our experience is that we have spare beds that are available.

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“Unfortunately, the local commissioning authorities are either unwilling or unable to pay us enough to cover even the basic costs of supporting an individual.”

Jane said care home providers were in some cases expected to accept weekly fees up to £200 below the actual cost of care.

The Somerset Care boss added little or none of the £2bn given to local authorities this year has reached providers, with fee rates remaining at 2016/17 levels or below.

She said the fee increases received from some counties did not come to close to covering National Living Wage rises, never mind increased regulator, insurance, pension and inflationary costs.

Tags : FeesFundingLegislationSomerset Care

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