Care boss accuses local authorities of ‘blatant hypocrisy’ on fee levels

Robert Kilgour, founder and chair of The Social Care Foundation
Robert Kilgour

Renaissance Care chairman, Robert Kilgour, has accused Scottish local authorities of “blatant hypocrisy and double standards” over new fee levels.

Kilgour said some local authorities were paid twice as much as independent and voluntary sector counterparts for providing the same service.

He said Edinburgh City Council had just proposed an average fee increase of 15.66% for its own care homes, while the independent and third sector providers were recently given ‘a take it or leave it’ offer of 6.76% for nursing care and 8.3% for residential care.

From April, independent and voluntary sector care home providers across Scotland will be paid £948 a week for nursing care and £825 a week for residential care, however, Kilgour said some local authorities will pay themselves up to £1,815 a week for residential care and up to £1,716 a week for nursing care.

Kilgour said there was “ an unbelievable degree of double standards which needs to be addressed”.

“This is a clear attempt from local authorities to claw back money at the expense of our amazing and hard-working staff, who are caring round the clock for all our vulnerable elderly – they deserve better,” he added.

“It is a grossly unfair settlement, when all care sector operators want is to be treated fairly and for our critical work to be valued.

“Sadly, I fear that many more care homes throughout Scotland will likely close over the next year as a result of this unfair and uneven treatment.”

A spokesperson for the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, said “We  fully appreciate and recognises the concerns from the private, independent and third sector on the National Care Home Contract rates set by CoSLA and in Edinburgh.

“The City of Edinburgh Council sets care home fees according to  the Scottish government issued Charging for Residential Accommodation Guidance (CRAG) which sets out that fees must be set at a level that recovers the full cost of running the home.

“The City has also increased its capacity to offer nursing care and care for people who live with dementia, which increases associated staffing costs.”

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