‘Skinflint’ councils abandon elderly people, says Care England
February 5, 2019
Local authorities across Britain have been labelled ‘skinflints’ by provider representative body Care England which says many councils have made no increase in what they pay care homes in the last year.
Care England says 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%. The association’s chief executive Professor Martin Green said that, by failing to properly fund their care, these councils were abandoning old people.
“These councils pay care homes just £350 a week for 24hr care, seven days a week,” said Prof. Green.
“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 elderly people.”
Care England says a study it has carried out on local authority fees shows that council fees are failing to keep pace with rising costs, with many care homes having to make difficult decisions to either close services or refuse council placements despite increasing numbers of vulnerable people requiring places.
Care England says it 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.