Council paying double going rate to build care homes, says care chief

Kilgour (1)

Renaissance Care chairman Robert Kilgour has accused Fife Council of building Scotland’s most expensive care homes.

Robert (pictured) said FOI requests had revealed two 24-bed care homes planned in Cupar and Anstruther would be built at a cost of £6.6m each, equating to £275,000 per bed, surpassing a previous record also held by the council of £7.2m or £200,000 per bed for a 36-bed care home in Methil.

The Methil home is part of a care village which another FOI request from Robert revealed to have increased in cost from £10.6m quoted in 2018 to a current projection of £16.8m.

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By contrast, Robert said the independent sector could build the equivalent care homes at a cost of £115-120,000 per bed, excluding land costs.

The care home boss, who offered his services to the council to deliver quality care homes at a “realistic price”, said: “It is simply not good value for local taxpayers’ money at a time when public finances are massively under pressure, and there is a real responsibility for Fife Council to get value for money from the public purse.

“Local authorities say they are strapped for cash and can’t afford to pay independent sector care homes the true cost of care. I want to highlight the double standards in operation. There is no level playing field – local councils are not being realistic and honest in recognising the true costs of care.”

A spokesperson for Fife Council said: “Fife Council’s committed to replacing 9 of its 10 residential care homes to provide the highest quality care and support in line with Care Inspectorate and Health and Safety guidance, whilst maintaining a homely environment for its residents.

“The initial budget for the Methilhaven care village was £6.1m in 2019, however, due to the Methilhaven development being the largest site with increased infrastructure and the impact of COVID-19, this has now increased to £7.2m. The costs of the care homes in Cupar and Anstruther are budget estimates at present for the purpose of forward planning.

“There was an extensive open tendering exercise carried out through Public Contracts Scotland for the Methilhaven Care Village, and the vast majority of the works on site are being carried out by private sector companies.  It should not come as a surprise that we have inflationary increases built into our cost models for the next sites, but again actual costs will not be known until the works are publicly tendered.”


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The author Lee Peart

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