Care home fees and charges set to rise

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Care home and care support costs in Kirklees are set to rise together as Kirklees Council discuss new proposals on Tuesday.

It will be the second time since October that care home costs have risen.

The news comes as the council considers whether to increase transport, meal and security costs for patients by 2 per cent.

The decision to increase the basic fee for nursing care has already been made by the Kirklees director of children and adults, Allison O’Sullivan, under delegation from the council’s cabinet.

Fees will rise by £7.15, bringing the total cost to £436.78 a week, while those in residential care will see a rise of £6.48 to £418.24.

Those receiving dementia care can expect the same rise to £456.78 for nursing care and £438.24 for residential care.

Non-residential care will increase by £6.48 to £446.98, with all changes taking effect from April 7.

A Kirklees Council spokeswoman said: “The council considers a variety of pressures that care home providers are facing such as fuel and food costs, etc, and reviews its fees in the light of these.

“The national minimum wage was raised in October last year and the care home fees were revised accordingly at that point.”

Kirklees Council will also discuss increases to care support costs at a meeting of senior councillors on Tuesday.

If approved, flat rate fees for day opportunity transport will rise from £1.75 per journey to £1.80, up 30p since last year. Day opportunity meals will increase from £1.20 to £1.25, an increase of 25p since last year.

Kirklees Council said the rise in support costs is needed to achieve better outcomes for care users and their families.

Kirklees Council’s discussions comes a week after charity Age UK released a damning report warning publicly-funded social care was increasingly restricted by government cuts.

The charity said financially-squeezed local authorities were only able to offer help if a person’s needs were deemed “substantial or above”, leaving those with low or moderate needs unable to get financial help to fund their care.

An Age UK spokesperson said: “At the moment too many older people who have contributed to society all their lives are left to fend for themselves when they need care and support. We cannot continue to sacrifice their safety and dignity.”

Kirklees Council said it offered individual means-tested assessments to determine the level of contribution individuals or family members were expected to make towards an persons care.