Council pays least for care home costs

Blackpool Council is to increase its funds for residents in care homes.
Blackpool Council is to increase its funds for residents in care homes.
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Council bosses in Blackpool are set to give care homes more money for the residents they look after.

It comes after the authority was listed as paying the least amount for care home services in the North West.

According to figures obtained by the GMB union, Blackpool pays £342.23 a week to homes for those residents who qualify for their care costs to be paid by the council.

It is the lowest of 23 councils in the North West who responded to the survey, and just £16 more than the lowest-paying council in the country.

But Coun Kath Rowson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for adult social care, said the weekly payment were now set to increase.

She said: “The fee that we pay care homes for their residents is weighted based on the level of care.

“Three-quarters of the council’s placements for older adults are made at the higher fee rate of £403.48 per adult.

“However, we have worked closely with Blackpool providers, and recognised that this cost needs to rise.

“As a result, we have recently agreed to increase the standard rate by 20 per cent, and the higher rate by 8 per cent over a period of time.

“On top of this, we are also increasing the price to address inflationary changes such as the rise in the minimum wage, and higher running costs from rising energy bills.

“It is only right that our care homes receive a decent amount of money for looking after our local residents who are placed in them, and as stated, the council is working with care home providers to achieve this.”

The highest-paying council was Croydon, which pays £598.

The GMB says if the highest-paying council pays out almost £600 a week in care home costs, all councils across the country should be paying the same.
Justin Bowden, national officer for care workers, said: “If £600 per week is what is needed to provide decent care for our elderly and vulnerable, provided by fairly paid staff, then that is what should be paid.” 
Blackpool is one of 56 councils not directly paying for Meals on Wheels services. Instead the service is contracted out.