Scottish providers face gap in fees

Private care home providers in Scotland are paid too little,
according to a report submitted to the Scottish executive this

The report says the payment needed to care for Scotland’s estimated
26,000 older people in care homes should be increased from
£406 a week to £462 by 2007. The study, from the
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) and care home
organisation Scottish Care, concludes there is a “gap between the
current price being paid for care and the accurate cost of

Scottish Care, which represents more than 900 private care home
providers, has repeatedly clashed with the executive over the fees
councils pay for local authority-funded residents.

But, according to care home owners, the executive’s promise to set
up a national cross-party review group to look into the true cost
of care last year has not delivered.

“The national review group should have reported last year to set
fees for 2005-8, but it still hasn’t done that,” one owner

She added that Scottish Care had threatened to stop taking local
authority admissions in 2003 but, when the review group was set up,
it had hoped the situation would be resolved.

Scottish Care chief executive Joe Campbell said there had been a
meeting with deputy health minister Tom McCabe to discuss the
report’s recommendations.

He said Cosla “stoutly defended a large increase in fees to private
providers” but the minister was “totally intransigent”, insisting
there was no money available from the executive for local
authorities to increase care home fees.

Campbell said he would be writing to health minister Malcolm
Chisholm to express his fears that many care homes faced

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