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Powys County Council agree to pump £1.9 million into residential care home sector

POWYS will not be the care home “Cheapstakes” anymore, as they agree to pump £1.9 million into the sector during the next financial year.

At their meeting on Friday, March 12, Powys County Council’s (PCC) cabinet approved a report which will see the fees that PCC pay to independent residential homes increase by £110 to £120 per person a week, depending on the type of care residents receive.

In September last year, it was agreed that the Social Services hold an in depth review into the cost of residential care in Powys.

In June 2020, PCC won Care Forum Wales’ Cheapskate Award as it paid less for care placements than any other authority is Wales.

Adult Social Care portfolio holder, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander, (Independent – Banwy) said: “We were subject to some Wales wide publicity when it was revealed we pay less for our care than anywhere else.

“We need to put our money where our mouth is, it’s all very well saying we value care, but we also need to pay for it.”

Cllr Alexander added that residents want to live independently in their homes for as long as possible.

But, there is still a need for residential care homes, and Cllr Alexander said that he average age of admission to a care home is now 89 years old.

Cllr Alexander, said: “We are talking of people in advanced age who may be frail or have a number of health challenges.

“It’s important we have a sector that can meet their needs.

“We want a thriving private sector care industry and we want that to be able to plan and make business decisions for the future and also invest in their staff.”

She believed that the fee increase would “provide stability” for care homes that had suffered due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Head of Social Services commissioning, Dylan Owen, added that the report had allowed the council to fully understand the costs involved in running care homes.

Mr Owen, said: “We worked to understand the exact costs of every aspect of providing residential, residential dementia, nursing and nursing dementia care.

“The salary and add on costs, how much they are paying for food, heating and so on, to the minutiae.”

“We were working with a full deck of cards, all the information was available to us.”

Mr Owen explained that through this work they were able to calculate the average cost.

He added they would also that there would also be an increase in fees for  silver and gold rooms depending on the size and facilities available at a care home.

Mr Owen explained that the increase costs had already been budgeted for.

“We recognise this wa going to be a financial challenge and we did work this into our budget so we’re not asking for any more money we will manage it,” said Mr Owen.

The report was approved unanimously.

The weekly fees for 2020/21 were:

  • Residential – £539
  • Residential EMI (Elderly Mentally Infirm) – £559
  • Nurisng – £544
  • Nursing EMI – £580.

The new weekly fees rate for 2021/22 will be:

  • Residential – £659
  • Residential EMI – £669
  • Nursing – £660
  • Nursing EMI – £698

Gold Standard rate will be:

  • Residential – £694
  • Residential EMI – £704
  • Nursing – £695
  • Nursing EMI – £733

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