Councils report sharp rises in charges

Councils report sharp rises in charges

Home care charges in England have risen this year, with some users paying up to £18 an hour, a survey by charity Counsel and Care has found.

The poll of 34 authorities in June found the average hourly charge was £12.84 compared to £11.06 in a similar survey last year. Weekly charges had risen to an average of £256.10 from £184.82 in 2007, while one-fifth of councils did not set a maximum weekly limit on charges. Just two councils offered free home care.

The report said care costs were “becoming unaffordable” for those who were not already excluded by tightening eligibility criteria, and that without urgent change “the move towards person-centred care will be a revolution for the few”.

Stephen Burke, chief executive of Counsel and Care, reiterated calls for a review of home care charging and said next year’s green paper on adult care funding needed to address the issue.

The news came with Hammersmith and Fulham Council, west London, facing a legal challenge over its decision to introduce charges of up to £10 an hour.

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