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Care home costs to be capped - but why aren't they regulated?

(4 Posts)
Ponders Mon 04-Jul-11 22:14:42

DM article about possible capping

Many years ago (well, 20+ - I can't remember exactly when it changed) both care homes & home care were provided by Social Services, run by local councils, & freely available to anybody who needed them.

Then, in one of the Tories' many strokes of financial genius, this service was disbanded & a lot of "entrepreneurs" made a f*cking fortune out of offering home care privately. One company I knew of when this happened (with 2 directors, one of them married to a local GP, who knew ahead of time that the change was coming) charged their services out at £25 ph, but paid their carers min wage, ie less than £5 ph at the time, & ran the entire company out of one tiny office - imagine how much money they made hmm

So now that policy is coming round to bite a lot of affluent people in the bum, but this Govt apparently thinks that those affluent people should be protected from having to use their accumulated wealth to pay for their care.

It seems to me that rather than having the Govt subsidise the affluent more than at present, there now needs to be some regulation of the care industry - if it has to be commercial (?) then there should surely be higher taxes on profits, plus penalties for eg asset-stripping (cf Southern Cross); & that there should be a range of homes, at a range of prices, but all providing care to a minimum standard.

But does it have to be commercial? This doesn't just affect the elderly/infirm - look at those poor people in the Panorama programme recently, for whom we are all paying £3500 per week!

IMO the entire care industry needs to be overhauled & regulated.

Ponders Mon 04-Jul-11 22:18:15

my daughter has worked as a part-time home carer for several years - the agencies generally pay barely min wage, & have not covered her fuel costs, but charge out to clients at 3 or 4 times what she gets.

It's just wrong sad

Mischif Fri 08-Jul-11 14:18:03

I worked as a carer in a nursing home. What struck me was that they were charging residents £700 per week and allocating £1 a day for their food. Really think there needs to be more regulation. This was several years ago though, don't know if it's still the same now.

3littlefrogs Fri 08-Jul-11 14:32:08

It is worth remembering that the threshold for being totally self funding is assets of £21K. Just owning a small house or flat in many parts of the country will take you over that threshold.

If a place in a care home "costs" £500 per person per week. the self funding person will be charged £700 per week, while the person being funded by the council will be charged (and the local authority will pay) £300 per week.

So the self funding person does pay a much higher rate.

Once you are in a position of needing residential care, you are not allowed to dispose of any assets, and you are not allowed any care of any sort unless you allow the local authority to go through all your finances.

Once in care, you are allowed about £10 per week spending money, and cannot access any more than that. Only once all your assets have gone, will you get any assistance from the local authority. You may or may not be allowed to stay in the home you are in, it is possible that you will be moved somewhere cheaper. The quality of care homes varies enormously.

What really upsets me is the fact that the owners of care homes must be making a huge amount of money, given that the carers are on such meagre wages. While some carers are very good and kind, many are not, and given that the wages are so low, this is bound to influence the calibre of some employees.

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