The government is to consult with providers and residents about information given on care home fees, care services minister Liam Byrne announced yesterday. The consultation period will last until 10 February next year.
It is a response to an Office of Fair Trading report on care homes for older people published earlier this year. The study called for a one-stop shop for all information on care homes. It found that information provided by homes varied in quality, forcing people to choose homes without relevant information.
Care homes are required to provide information on fees but the regulations do not specify when. The government has pledged to remove this ambiguity and require homes to provide prices before a resident moves in.
“I want to ensure dignity and choice for our older people by providing clear information on care home prices,” said Byrne.
“I want to make it as easy as possible for care homes to provide the information that consumers need on prices, and would encourage care homes to contribute to the consultation,” he added.
The government proposes to amend the fee regulations in April 2006. Care homes will be given three months to implement the changes.