The Independent Age ‘End the Secret Subsidy’ campaign revealed that around three-quarters of councils are failing to protect families from paying unnecessary ‘top-up’ fees for the care of elderly relatives.
In response to the debate, Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent age said:
“We strongly welcome a debate on the worrying issue of top-up fees from care homes. These are meant to allow families to pay extra for care above a basic standard but many families are in fact paying for basic care that it is really the responsibility of the council to meet.
Though councils are supposed to check that families really want to pay extra, most councils don’t even know the true number of top-up fee agreements in their area. Families should only have to pay top-up fees as a genuine choice and not because they feel backed into a corner by a council or a care home. They need better advice and information before signing and regular reviews of the agreement. But the problem is not simply down to poor practice – our research shows that it is driven by the widespread underfunding of social care by national as well as local government”.