Scots warn of care home fee gap

Care home owners, politicians and the Royal College of Nursing in
Scotland have warned that the recent care home fee settlement
announced by the Scottish executive will not be enough to prevent
home closures and job losses.

Joe Campbell, chief executive of care home provider group Scottish
Care, said the announcement last week of an extra £94m between
2005 and 2008 was “too little, too late”, and the gap between
council funding and the real cost of care would widen further.

Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond said the Department of
Work and Pensions had saved £23m from not administering
attendance allowance since the introduction of free personal care
in Scotland, and called for this to be pumped back into the system.

The RCN Scotland said under-funding of private care homes, combined
with the introduction of better rates of pay for NHS nurses under
the Agenda for Change programme, would mean nursing staff were less
likely to take jobs in the care home sector because owners would be
unable to match the wages.

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