Daily Mail

Injustice for care home self-funders

- Name and address supplied.

Why are self-funders (SF) charged more than local authority-funded residents (LA) in the same care home?

My widowed mother, who worked all her life, is going to need financial help from the local authority shortly as she is nearing the £23,500 threshold [if you have more than this in savings and assets, you have to fund all your own care home costs].

her care home fees are currently just over £6,000 a month, so £72,000-plus a year, and that figure doesn’t include toiletries, chiropodis­t and hairdresse­r costs, etc. her property was sold when she went into care.

In 2018 a government briefing paper by Tim Jarrett, entitled ‘Social care: Care home market — structure, issues, and cross- subsidisat­ion’ was published. In it, the Competitio­n and Markets Authority (CMA) identified that ‘cross-subsidisat­ion’ was widely practised in care homes, whereby SFs paid on average 40 per cent more than LAfunded residents in the same home receiving the same care, meals and often the same type of rooms. The SFs were contributi­ng more to make up the deficits in the costs.

But the CMA did not seek to ban this practice, calling only for ‘additional funding for local authority social care so that they could increase the fees they paid to care homes, among other measures’.

I feel this is unfair. If they had stopped the practice of cross-subsidisat­ion, or capped it at 10 per cent, my mother would not now need the council to step in. I have contacted the care home where my mother has been an SF for more than five years, and even though I know they have LA-funded places, I was informed by the manager that the council will decide how much my mother will now have to pay towards her care from her remaining £23,500 until she gets to the £14,000 final threshold, and how much the council will pay.

If it doesn’t equal the required care home fee, she will need to be moved ‘unless I would like to make up the shortfall myself’. I am not in a financial position to do so, despite my husband and I both working full time.

Cross-subsidisat­ion is totally unfair and is essentiall­y another tax, as the higher fees paid by SFs are being used to make up deficits in government/ local authority funds.

Even when they have paid a significan­t amount in fees, care home residents may be asked to leave once they are no longer able to self-fund.

 ?? ?? Unfair ‘tax’: Self-funding residents face a disruptive move to another care home if they can no longer make up the shortfall in fees
Unfair ‘tax’: Self-funding residents face a disruptive move to another care home if they can no longer make up the shortfall in fees

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