William Eichler 30 November 2017

Council cuts responsible for £1bn care home sector shortfall

Council cuts responsible for £1bn care home sector shortfall  image

The care home sector is suffering from a £1bn funding shortfall because councils are not paying high enough fee rates, an extensive review into the sector finds.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today published its final findings following an extensive review into the residential care home sector which was launched last December.

The CMA’s financial analysis found a funding shortfall for the sector of £1bn a year across the UK. It argues this was because councils were paying fee rates for the residents they fund which are below the costs of care.

This has forced care homes to rely on self-funders who pay on average £44,000 per year — 40% more than those paid by councils.

‘Care homes provide a vital service to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. However, the simple truth is that the system cannot continue to provide the essential care people need with the current levels of funding,’ said CMA chief executive, Andrea Coscelli.

‘Without substantial reform to the way that councils plan and commission care, and greater confidence that the costs of providing care will be covered, the UK also won’t be able to meet the growing needs of its ageing population.’

The Authority’s report also warned the basic information and support needed to help people choose a care home is often not available, and the systems for redress and feedback for residents and their families need to be improved.

‘It is essential that residents and their families can make informed choices, understand how these services will be paid for, and be confident they will be fairly treated and able to complain effectively if they have concerns,’ said Mr Coscelli.

‘We are now calling on care homes, councils and Government bodies to help people navigate what can be a confusing system.’

Responding to the publication of the CMA’s findings, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Community Wellbeing Board, said: ‘The findings of the CMA’s review show the stark reality of the social care crisis and the urgent need for genuinely new funding and long-term reform of the sector.

‘This is yet another powerful warning that many care homes are not sustainable.’

‘Already we are seeing an unfair, unequal two-tier system emerging between those able to choose and pay for their own care, and those reliant on increasingly overstretched council-funded care that is struggling to meet people’s needs as a result of chronic underfunding of adult social care,’ Cllr Seccombe continued.

‘Councils have been doing all they can to protect services that care for older and disabled people and will continue to do so, including provision of information and advice to help people make decisions about how their care needs can be met.

‘But they can only do so much, with an estimated £1.3bn funding gap between what providers say they need and what councils currently pay. This is an immediate gap that is impacting on the system today, and part of a wider annual £2.3bn shortfall that adult social care will face by 2020.’

Have social services been negligent? image

Have social services been negligent?

Saara Idelbi and Conor Monighan consider the liability of local authorities in negligence where it is argued that social services should have intervened more quickly to remove children from their family homes.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Youth & Community Based Commissioner

Essex County Council
£19308 - £19631 per annum
Youth & Community Based Commissioner Permanent, Part Time £19,308 to £19,631 per annum (FTE) Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Family Support & Protection Team

Essex County Council
Up to £207 per day + Umbrella
Family Operations delivers direct provision of services relating to vulnerable children, young people and complex families. These services will be del England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

District Youth and Community Commissioner in Training

Essex County Council
£25313 - £28001 per annum
District Youth and Community Commissioner in Training Permanent, Full Time £25,313 - £28,001 Per Annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Early Intervention Team

Essex County Council
Up to £207 per day + Umbrella
*** This is a temporary position to start as soon as possible based at Colchester Hospital ***About the RoleWorking to support adults, and their famil England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Adults Social Workers - Harlow

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
Working to support adults and their families who have complex social needs and are more vulnerable as a result of disability, exclusion, or diminished England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue