Essex Council says care homes fees are unaffordable
Caring Times, October 2016
Care provider representative body Care England says a fees framework for people living in care homes proposed by Essex County Council will not be adequate to keep homes open.
A cost of care exercise conducted by the local authority had found a fair cost of care would be £647 per week for residential placements and £665 per week for nursing but the council has said applying these rates to all providers would be unaffordable.
It has instead suggested a fee uplift system that would see current rates increase by a maximum of £13.79 per week.
Care England chief executive professor Martin Green said there was little point conducting a costs of care exercise without adhering to the results.
“Without adequate resourcing care homes will simply cease to exist,” said Prof. Green.
“Essex County Council needs to ensure that it funds the cost of care otherwise there will be closures leading to unnecessary stress on many of the county’s most vulnerable people and their families. Care homes are of course a vital part of the local economy providing employment and also the backbone to the NHS.
“Our members have a good working relationship with Essex County Council and want to work with them to ensure that their residents are in a position to be in receipt of the best quality care. It is however unsustainable for a council to conclude what it costs to fund care then pay less than this cost, and expect the independent sector to fund the difference.”