Care England has written to all Directors of Adult Social Services regarding fee rates for care providers stressing that in addition to the human cost that the pandemic has had upon care homes, the financial impact upon providers has been unprecedented.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:
“We are deeply concerned with the feedback we are receiving from many of our members about local authorities who are proposing to make very little increases if any to the base fee rates they pay for the care services that they commission. This impact, combined with other inflationary pressures has created the perfect storm, placing the care home market, home care and supported living settings in an incredibly precarious financial position”.
Local authorities have a legal obligation to promote the efficient and effective operation of the care markets in their localities to ensure that people have a variety of providers and services to choose from. They must also have regard to the sustainability of the market which includes a duty to ensure adequate fee levels.
The pandemic has had a significant and immediate impact upon providers’ costs of care for example and whilst there has been some financial support provided to care providers, it has been limited and has not been provided on an indemnity basis. This has left providers having to absorb the financial shortfall on their increased costs often with reduced occupancy.
Martin Green continues:
“The current Covid-19 pandemic has, and continues to have, a catastrophic impact on all elements of our society. Care homes have been recognised as one of the front lines and have sadly been one the most affected despite the measures that have been put in place by both providers and central government. We hope that Directors of Adult Social Services will work with the sector to ensure that it can recover and be in the best position possible to provide quality care to those in need”.