Council being sued for ‘underpayment’

A Yorkshire care home provider is suing North Yorkshire Council
over an alleged £70,000 underpayment of fees.

Yorkshire Care Developments is taking the action in protest at what
it claims are inadequate fees paid by the council to independent
care homes for local authority-funded residents.

Its action is backed by the Independent Care Group, which
represents local care providers in York and North Yorkshire and has
previously won two county court judgements against the council for
unpaid fees dating back to 2001.

ICG development director Keren Wilson said: “The ICG favours
negotiation over fees wherever possible, but the board feels
strongly that the county council has not taken the issue of a fair
price for care seriously enough over a long period of time.”

North Yorkshire Council said it was disappointed by the move.

Councillor Murray Naylor, executive member for social services with
responsibility for older people, said North Yorkshire social
services and the ICG had worked together closely to arrive at the
existing package.

“Although the ICG believes available funds are insufficient to meet
the aspirations of the care industry, we feel that the agreed
inflationary increase and the other important changes we are making
represent a positive step forward,” he said.

Earlier this year, neighbouring York Council agreed a new deal with
care home owners in which fees were increased by 4 per cent and
£300,000 was provided to bridge the gap in fees between
existing placements and new residents.

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