Councils are typically paying £200 more in weekly fees to care homes run by local authorities than those run by private providers, according to Care England.
Research by Care England found that independent care providers were expected to offer residential care for less than £500 per week compared with council-run homes being afforded more than £700.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “Such analysis only furthers the independent sector’s calls for greater oversight to be placed upon commissioning processes, these discrepancies in levels of funding cannot be justified.
“This is not the way to promote joint working across systems and accentuates the lack of parity with which the independent care sector is treated. Residents should not be affected by different levels of funding based on whether they are placed within either independent or state provision.”
Councils highlighted by Care England included Lancashire County Council which paid £656.70 in weekly fees for council-run homes compared with £466.55 to the independent sector.
In neighbouring councils, the contrast was similarly stark with Leeds City Council, for example, stating it paid £726 for local authority residents compared with Sheffield City Council’s £481 general residential fee.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “The provider market is an essential part of the care and support system and councils 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.”
Cllr Hudspeth said the forthcoming Budget was an “important opportunity” to address funding issues, adding the LGA was committed to happy to play its part with the Government and all political parties in finding a fairer long-term solution.