Care home fees in Wigan set to rise

Borough care home fees could be set to rise this year as the council moves to bridge a £1.7m gap in adult social care funding.

Thursday, 19th April 2018, 10:15 am
Updated Thursday, 19th April 2018, 10:26 am
Care home fees on the rise

Wigan Council’s cabinet members are expected to accept recommendations to increase care home fees by up to five per cent for 2018/19 at a meeting later today.

The town hall in February announced that a three per cent council tax precept from the Government would be imposed to pay for rising adult social care costs, however the annual increase in social care costs is £5m. Increasing council tax by the three per cent generates £3.3m for the authority so there will still be shortfall of £1.7m despite this increase.

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Joanne Willmott, assistant director for provider management, said: “There is a real commitment in the borough to make sure our care homes are great places that deliver compassionate care for our residents. We have been on a journey of improvement with our care homes and we are seeing real results with 84 per cent of homes rated good or outstanding. We are the third most improved authority nationally in the last 12 months.

“The challenges facing the nursing and residential sector are not unique, and in Wigan borough we are lucky to have a relatively stable market thanks to the partnership we have with providers and our partners to deliver the very best care.

“The increase in fees will enable us to have high quality homes with a valued and dedicated workforce. Along with covering increased running costs it will also cover the general inflation costs for the National Living Wage and employer contributions to workplace pensions.

“We have established a £2m Innovation Fund to support local providers to introduce innovative approaches to improving quality to help us make sure our care homes are fit for the future.”

Cabinet members will hear how “insufficient” care home fees could put the quality and sufficiency of care homes “at risk” which could put the council “at risk” of legal challenge.