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Care Homes at the Bottom of the Pecking Order

Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, has expressed disappointment at the derisory funding arrangements proposed by the Local Government Association and ADASS and encouraged providers to get in touch with their Local Authority using a framework that Care England has set up for members detailing extra costs for COVID-19.

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:

“A 10% increase is simply insufficient, no ifs or buts. If local government cannot reconcile funding for adult social care and thus does not have the money to fund care home beds for existing and new residents then we have a serious problem on our hands.  It is false economy to underfund the adult social care sector and will also severely impact hospital services”.

Care England is working tirelessly to ensure that the needs of the adult social care sector are heard at this time of crisis.  It has become abundantly clear that care homes are right at the bottom of the priority list and thus we are wasting time having to fight for everything.  We are aware that the LGA is sympathetic to the huge challenges that providers are facing and credit needs to be given to those Local Authorities that are dealing with this in a cooperative manner.  Our own findings however make it clear that a 10% increase will not be sufficient, there is a real danger that this is too little, too late and there simply isn’t time to go cap in hand in weeks and months to come.

Insufficient PPE and testing for staff, residents and patients discharged from hospital remain the key concerns of care providers.  There is scant recognition of the increased operating costs in this time of crisis despite the President of ADASS advocating the need for more financial support to the sector at his evidence to the Health and Social Care Select Committee last month.   If they are not supported unfortunately many providers will fold thus leaving our most vulnerable without care at this critical time.

In addition, the fee uplifts being offered fail to meet the 6.2% increase in the NationalLiving Wage. Whilst this isn't a new practice, it is however increasingly worrying given the desperate financial situation which care providers increasingly see themselves in as a result the COVID-19 pandemic.  Other financial pressures faced by care providers include:

  •  Workforce costs
  •  Materials costs including PPE
  •  Income pressures
  •  Future cost implications
  •  Operational pressures.

Martin Green continues:

“PPE is at the forefront of all care providers’ minds at the moment.  It is disappointing to note that the paltry increases proffered by LGA would not even cover the costs of PPE if indeed providers were able to procure sufficient supplies.  We encourage our members to use our template to calculate their additional costs incurred and use these for conversations with their Local Authorities”.

Ends 

Notes to editors:

  1. Care England is the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care
  2. Care England works to ensure that care services are commissioned fairly, efficiently and on a properly funded basis, to meet the true costs of providing quality care.  Care England analysis indicates that where known around one in five councils (20%) did not increase their base rates for either residential or nursing home placements in 2018/19, despite rising inflation and increased workforce costs.
  3. For Care England press enquiries related to this release, please contact Antonella Corby (020) 7492 4843 or email acorby@careengland.org.uk 
  4. @CareEngland & @CareEngDigital