Weekly nursing care costs put at £459

Care home associations have welcomed a report that estimates
the cost of providing nursing care for older people at £459 per week and
residential care at £353.

The figures are
significantly more than the average fee paid by councils which is £385 for nursing
care and £268 for residential care, a difference of £74 and £85 respectively.
With around 249,000 local authority supported residents in nursing and
residential care, the annual funding shortfall is estimated at more than a
billion pounds a year, the study finds.

The study recognises
that councils could not afford an immediate increase in baseline fees and
proposes a phased approach. Funding could be made available to local
authorities through a "care home modernisation grant", with the
government paying social services departments according to the degree of
compliance with national minimum standards achieved by the homes with which
they contract.

Sheila Scott, chief
executive of the National Care Homes Association, said that homes across the
country would be pleased if the fee levels identified in the report were to be
paid, and that the figure would be "acceptable for now".

Calculating a
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