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Care home quality victim of under-funding

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A ‘significant’ number of care homes are still not receiving the money they need to provide good quality services, according to a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The report, carried out for the organisation by community care analysts Laing & Buisson, found that care homes for people who need nursing and residential care are still being under-funded, with a big gap between council fees and the reasonable costs of running a good-quality care home.

It found that an extra £540m is still needed in the system to enable local authorities to fund a modernised care home sector.

The report estimates that fair market fees for operating a typical modern efficient care home in 2008-2009 with weekly nursing care costs £665 per person and £556 for the care of older people with dementia.

Commenting on the report Julia Unwin, director of the foundation, said: ‘The day-to-day challenges faced by the sector need to be tackled. Inevitably, this means addressing issues of funding, and ensuring that the dialogue that takes place between those commissioning services and those providing them is well informed.’

Martin Green, chief executive of the English Community Care Association, said that the report was a ‘wake-up call’ for the government nationally and locally. ‘It clearly indicates that the current levels of underfunding are significant and totally unsustainable,’ he said.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I agree that nursing homes are very badly under funded. I struggle daily to get essential supplies to maintain the quality of care that I would expect to be giving my clients, only to be told that it is because it is a private home, but surely, as my residents receive NHS GP facilities & are entitled to NHS care, should they not expct to receive the same provision in what is essentially their own home? If they had remained in their own homes, they would receive via GP all the dressings, and equipment required, so why, why, why just because they are in a nursing home are they not receiving the same care?? It is villifying those who either by choice or by need are in the care of a nursing home.

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  • I was extremely interested to see that according to the report and fair market prices, that it estimates the cost of caring for those with dementia to be approximately £100 a week less!!!

    My experience has always been that to improve the quality of those people suffering with dementia, that they need just as much nursing imput, from qualified staff and carers who have specialist skills.

    So l would expect the cost of their care to be higher, that is, unless they are just going to be sedated and left unmotiveted.

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