Self-pay subsidies ‘unacceptable’ say MPs

The practice of self-funding care home residents paying more to subsidise those paid for by local authorities is ‘unacceptable’ according to the House of Commons Communities and Local Government committee.

MPs found that councils are telling private providers to increase costs for those who pay the fees themselves. This subsidises cheaper, council-funded places for pensioners who don’t have savings.

The committee’s report says ‘self-funders’ are paying an average of 43 per cent more than councils were paying for an identical care home place.

Committee chairman, Clive Betts, said: “We do not believe it is acceptable for self-funders to pay higher costs for the same care in order to subsidise the costs of local authority-funded clients. There is clearly an unfairness in the system.

“Authorities are at the bare bones of what they can pay. But it is not right that those who are paying privately top up what care providers need to run their homes.”

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “Sadly, the grim picture of social care painted in this report is one we recognise all too well from what we are hearing from older people, families and front-line staff.”

Professor Martin GreenMartin Green, (left) chief executive of Care England, said: “The committee has done a very thorough investigation and I hope that the government will give maximum consideration to the recommendations proposed in its forthcoming Green Paper. The report reflects exactly what our members are telling us, namely the need for adequate funding in order to provide the care packages, training and sustainability of services.

“The conclusion of this report cannot be disputed; the government needs to stem the financial crisis in adult social care. The sector is ready and waiting to work with the government to find a resolution that focuses on outcomes.”

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