Care homes fire off ultimatum to Blair

A group of private care home associations with more than 70,000
beds in northern England and the Midlands is threatening action
over fees.

In a letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Coalition for Care
explains that from April the organisation will be advising its
members to accept only residents who pay fees “commensurate with
the amount of care given”. These are likely to be about £459 a
week for nursing care and £353 for residential care.

Chairperson Frank Hessey predicted “a devastating effect on the
availability of elderly care beds” should his members choose to
follow the guidance.

Blair is urged to act now “rather than wait for good homes to close
in the North and Midlands” and for the situation to deteriorate
into a crisis similar to that in the South.

Meanwhile, Durham Council has ended a long-running dispute with
private care home providers by agreeing to increase fees, starting
with an additional £10 per resident per week to nursing and
residential homeowners.

The deal includes an agreement to work towards a guaranteed
£400 a week for nursing care and £320 for residential
care from April 2004.

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