Care homes trade group demands ‘fair’ funding

Dean Wood Manor care home
Dean Wood Manor care home

UNDER-pressure Wigan care homes have been given leave to impose higher fees.

Council chiefs have agreed to raise the amount the sector can charge for thousands of pensioners who are no longer able to live independently.

The decision comes just days after it was confirmed that the local authority’s adult services bosses were forced to step in at troubled Dean Wood Manor care home in Orrell after parent company Mimosa went into administration.

A leading trade body for the sector, Care England, argued that fair funding is the best way to guarantee standards are maintained.

Wigan currently has 55 nursing and care homes providing accommodation for up to 2,200 elderly people.

And it is still expanding with a new care home specialising in the car of dementia opening last year to offer 60 places.

Last year fee levels were consolidated into three bandings with the general support of the industry.

Now the ruling cabinet has increased fees by up to four per cent.

It will see the standard fees rate rise from the current £365 to £374 per week.

This would be boosted, where appropriate, by an additional Funded Nursing Care payment from the health commissioners.

Council director of adult social care Stuart Cowley said that the competitive residential care market in Wigan had allowed for “efficient commissioning of services”.

But he conceded: “The financial pressure on homes has been increasing due to a number of national economic issues such as rising utility costs, despite owners managing this via operating efficiencies.

“They will ensure sufficiency of supply within a quality thriving market.”