Laura Sharman 11 February 2020

Research highlights under-funding of independent care homes

Care homes operated by local authorities receive over 40% more in weekly fees than independent homes, despite no difference in standards or quality of care, research has shown.

Care England found that independent care homes are provided less than £500 per week in fees per resident, while state-run homes receive more than £700 a week on average.

Previous research by LaingBuisson estimates a well-run residential care home needs between £623 to £726 per week to provide a decent level of care.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England said: ‘Such analysis only furthers the independent sector’s calls for greater oversight to be placed upon commissioning processes, these discrepancies in levels of funding cannot be justified.

‘This is not the way to promote joint working across systems and accentuates the lack of parity with which the independent care sector is treated. Residents should not be affected by different levels of funding based on whether they are placed within either independent or state provision.’

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: ‘The provider market is an essential part of the care and support system and councils work closely with local care providers to ensure a good quality market of services.

’However, given the serious funding and demand pressures facing adult social care there is a known gap between what providers say they need and what councils pay.’

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