Laura Sharman 08 June 2020

Care home residents facing 'coronavirus bill'

Care home residents facing coronavirus bill image

Some care home residents have been forced to pay a 'coronavirus bill’ of up to £100 a week by their provider, a charity has warned.

Age UK said some care home providers are charging residents an extra 15% on top of their existing fees to pay for PPE and the cost of covering staff absences.

The charity is calling for this practice to be banned and for Government to cover the extra costs being faced by care homes during the pandemic.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK said: 'Where care homes face extra costs on account of the pandemic it’s only fair that central Government ensures they are met – otherwise there’s a risk that some homes could fold, leaving their residents homeless. This would be bad enough at the best of times, let alone now when the virus continues to pose a threat, making it safest for everyone to stay put.

'The fact that older people who pay for their own care home place routinely have to stump up more than 40% on top of what the State has to find is a long-running scandal, but these ‘Coronavirus bills’ make the injustice even worse. They should be outlawed and care homes under acute financial pressure given the emergency Government funding they need.'

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: 'Emergency funds provided by government so far have been helpful, but our new joint research with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services shows that there is still a very significant shortfall anticipated by the end of September this year.

'Although councils have no direct responsibility to provide extra funding for those who are arranging and funding their own care, in practice many councils have been looking at how they can help, especially for care homes who take council-funded residents alongside self-funders.'

The power of local systems to save lives image

The power of local systems to save lives

Councils and their partners could do even more to contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly funded to undertake a robust localised system of testing, tracking and tracing, argues Professor Donna Hall.
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