Skinflint councils across Britain have been accused of abandoning old people by failing to properly fund care home places.
One in five councils have given NO increase in fees they pay for 2018/19, despite cost and wage bills rising by up to 5%.
Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, said:
“These councils pay care homes just £350 a week for 24hr care, seven days a week. By failing to properly fund their care, they are abandoning old people. To give no real increase in fees when costs have risen by over four per cent is an insult.
Our society is institutionally ageist. Older people are treated like a problem to be tolerated rather than something to be cherished.
You just cannot run a care home and give the optimum amount of care on a pittance. No wonder care homes are closing and there is a growing crisis in the number of places for the elderly.”
A study by Care England, the organisation that represents independent care providers, show that council fees are failing to keep pace with rising costs.
It says many care homes are having to make difficult decisions to either close services or refuse council placements despite increasing numbers of vulnerable people requiring places.
This means providers are having to turn away council placement, which in turn increases the pressure on the struggling NHS.
Care England contacted every council across England with a Freedom of information request asking them to provide details on their base rates for older people residential and nursing care home placements in 2018/19. Of the councils who did reply to Care England’s Freedom of information request, one in five made no increase in the baseline rate for nursing home beds; 18% of councils reported that they gave no increase for nursing with dementia beds; and 22% of councils reported no increase for residential care home beds, including residential care beds for older people with Dementia. This is all in spite of the increased number of people questing places.
Examples where councils made offers that fell short were Staffordshire who offered 1% for existing placements only, Haringey who had no automatic uplift in fees and Bath and North East Somerset who only offered 1% uplift.
Care England analysis show a projected 7.5% jump in the number of older people in care homes by 2020. That would require an extra 33,000 staff at a cost of an additional £581million
On Tuesday the 29th of January, Professor Martin Green from Care England will be giving evidence to the Lords Economic Affairs Committee on social care funding, and he will be urging the government to act now.