Care Home Fees

  JYPX 13:41 29 Jun 2011

The subject of Radio 4's File On 4 this week was the thorny issue of care home funding. The point was made - although it is already fairly obvious - that Councils are squeezing the fees that they are willing to hand over to private care homes, to the point at which many are closing. An example was given of a home which until recently had a sound business model. The bank which had lent the money to buy the home have now discovered that the numbers, based on current fees paid by the Council, "dont add up". This year: 85% occupancy = loss. 100% occupancy = small profit. They have withdrawn the funding - end of story.

This is pretty serious and got me thinking about priorities for Council spending, ie the difference between those things that we would all hate to do without, and those things which are arguably life or death issues. The next time I hear someome say that we must not close public libraries because "the elderly will suffer" I will be urging them to stop and think.....

  QuizMan 16:12 29 Jun 2011

I caught some of that R4 programme too. It made stark listening. I had wrongly assumed judging by the weekly amounts that care homes charge those not entitled to public funding, that the owners would be rolling in to, so to speak.

Clearly, if the majority of their income comes from council-funded people they are going to struggle. However, I have to wonder if this will not backfire on the councils and their elderly. If homes close and private payers need to find new accommodation, those homes remaining open will take on those people in preference to those from the councils and the latter will eventually run out of available places to go. When that happens, the outcry will be predicable.

  Kevscar1 16:18 29 Jun 2011

Don't believe all you hear about that. The owner ofone near us has a few others, most of the staff are from abroad and are on minimum or near minimum wages, the owner is a millionaire who recently spent over 50k on a family wedding. They will take private payers wherever possible rather than council funded ones and if the oppertunity arises will get rid of them when the opportunity arises.

  QuizMan 16:31 29 Jun 2011

Kevscar - "They will take private payers wherever possible rather than council funded ones". Totally agree - that was exactly my point. It may not be ethical, but in a business sense it is the way to go.

  Housten 17:01 29 Jun 2011

A few years ago now - I think it was nearer 5 than 3 - there was a home in Newbury where the owner - so he said - was making a loss on Hampshire County Council residents at £375 per week, and so he decided that he had to increase the fees to £400. HCC went ballistic and said they were not going to pay as it was blackmail! So the residents were moved out to another home and in the following 6 to 9 months apparently about half of them passed on, but were HCC worried? Not a bit!! Oh!! By the way the home most of the residents were taken to was being paid £400 per week, but then HCC were not going to be blackmailed into paying that were they?

  JYPX 18:35 29 Jun 2011

I agree that we could be entering a period where homes will cherry pick the (private) residents that they want. If we lose a few Southern Cross homes it will just happen faster. At that point I am trying to imagine who will take the (Council funded) residents who remain standing when the music stops, and how exactly those owners will economise to meet the required fee structure......(shudders)

  birdface 21:51 29 Jun 2011

Maybe blame the Government.

Unfortunately some folk cannot afford to stay off work to look after elderly parents when they have a home and family to after themselves.

What the Government pays to care homes could be halved just by giving about half that amount to family members to have time off work to look after their parents themselves.

Say it is £500 a week the government has to pay the care home.

Giving half of that to a family member would cut the cost of care by 50%.

What help does the Government give to those that look after elderly relatives.Nothing.

And the bonus is the elderly can spend whatever time they have left in the comfort of their own homes with family and friends looking after them.

  Aitchbee 22:01 11 Jul 2011

As I don't have any elderly parents or elderly loved ones to look after I don't have any real worries at the moment,apart from Gas Electricity, Council Tax, Travel Costs etc ... But I see all around me, where I live,(Glasgow) that people are living longer and carers are non stop from 8.00 to 22.00 tending to their basic needs....but compared to the plight of all of the people in drought savaged Africa...there is no comparison. I am only saying what's on my mind and I know that it's not easy to speak about these issues. HB

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