News of yet another fee hike by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has many care home managers worried about how they will continue to provide a quality service to their residents. This new fee rise is due to take effect in April 2018 as part of a four year cost recovery agreement with providers, and means that Social Care is the only sector to see their fees rise this year.
In an industry that is already struggling to make ends meet, the new fee rates will only add further pressure on care home providers to work within even tighter budget constraints. This is further compounded by the fact that many Local Authorities throughout England are not in a financial position to offer more funding towards the cost of Social Care.
In order to keep in line with their Care Act 2014 responsibilities, it is essential that Local Authorities follow the correct procedures in obtaining a realistic cost of care analysis for a care home. This analysis will allow them to gauge the scale of the challenges associated with the fee rise. It will also help them to understand the true costs of care and budget appropriately for their local care providers. However, this is not proving to be an easy task as many Local Authorities are forced to tighten their purse strings even further due to a lack of funds.
Over the recent years, Social Care has received a lot of negative press with many care homes either failing to provide quality care or going into administration due to financial troubles. However, almost all care home providers have strived hard to maintain high standards in spite of the hurdles before them.
There is a real concern that standards within care homes are falling, but surely budget cuts and lack of funding play a big role in contributing towards a depleting service? It is simply not possible to maintain excellent standards of care, when there is no money, and it is unreasonable and unfair to expect care home managers feel positive or motivated when little to no investment is being made to help them.
With a population of people who are living longer than ever before, the burden of providing care on the social sector is only set to increase in the coming years. This means that something has to be done in order to keep the services alive and at a standard that is at least acceptable. The question is; if fees continue to rise every year, will the sector be sustainable in the future?
If you are a care home owner who believes that your Local Authority has not followed the correct procedures in obtaining your cost of care analysis, please contact our specialist care home solicitors at Aston Brooke Solicitors on 020 3475 4321 or visit www.astonbrooke.co.uk