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Monday, June 27, 2011

Great news - fees have only fallen 4.5%


Healthcare Property Consultants have researched the amount of fees that local authorities will be paying for residential care of older people. The pie chart shows the distribution of the fees increase/decrease.

Terrific news - it staying about 0%. With Consumer Price Index running at 4.5% (April 2011) and a minimum wage increase in October 2011 of 2.5%. With stagnant fees and rising costs will be the pattern for the next two or three years. Sounds like trading hell to me.

The next time you read a story about the problems in residential care homes remember the part that Local Government is playing to reduce the quality of care.

I have made my views clear to my contacts in Central Government that the only way to get any control of the care nightmare is to dictate the level of fees paid. This way Local Government will be forced to find ways of really reducing their costs of operations rather than taking the easy option of reducing care for the elderly.

I very much doubt if anybody will listen.

The bottom line message for all care providers is to get the hell out of providing public care as fast as you can. Either that or propose a radically new way of delivering basic quality care for a lot less money.

Just after I wrote this blog posting another bit of news popped up on my screen. According to Age UK, care budgets for older people have been reduced by 8.4%. The Government has disputed these figures that have been gathered from Local Authorities under the Freedom of Information Act.

Based on the responses of 110 authorities, the figures were reached after comparing the net expenditure on older people's social care between 2011/12 and 2010/11.

If these numbers are to be believed (and I do) in 2011-12, the net annual expenditure per person over the age of 65 is falling to £791 continuing a downward trend from £864 in 2010-2011 and £872 in 2009-10. Don't forget that these figures don't take account of inflation so the situation is even worse.

Let me say it again. Either central government ring fences this spend or it will have to deal with continuing stories of private care companies going to the wall and atrocious standards of care being given to the elderly.

Private care companies that are reliant on public funds are in for a dreadful time. Dick Stroud

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