Care homes charge self-funded residents over £1,000 more a month than council-funded residents

Care homes charge self-funded residents over £1,000 more a month than council-funded residents

Individuals that pay their own care home fees stump up an average of £12,500 a year more than those residents whose fees are footed by their local authority.

Rachel Lacey
Mon, 09/02/2019 – 12:03

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The average annual fee for ‘self-funders’ is £44,252 a year, compared to a typical £31,720 for council-funded residents, research from Just Group has revealed.

The difference equates to more than £1,000 a month for self-funders to pay for social care compared to council-funded residents.

Analysis by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has also found that the number of care homes charging different fees to councils and self-funders has increased substantially. In 2005 just 20% of care homes operated a differential pricing policy compared to around 90% today.

Furthermore, it was revealed that fees charged to local authorities do not cover the costs of running care homes, forcing them to increase fees for self-funders who effectively subsidise cash-strapped councils.

Average annual Local Authority fees for Council-funded residents and self-funders

Region Average Local Authority fee per year per resident Average Local Authority fee per year per self funder Average fee differential (£) Average fee differential (%) Median fee differential (%)
England £31,720 £44,252 £12,532 43% 41%
South East £36,920 £55,276 £18,356 52% 49%
Greater London £38,116 £54,652 £16,536 49% 47%
East of England £30,368 £44,512 £14,144 50% 49%
North West £28,288 £40,352 £12,064 45% 44%
West Midlands £31,460 £43,108 £11,648 45% 46%
South West £34,164 £45,552 £11,388 37% 36%
East Midlands £30,472 £40,612 £10,140 35% 34%
Yorkshire & Humber £27,716 £37,544 £9,828 37% 36%
North East £29,536 £34,788 £5,252 23% 23%

Source: Just Group, 2 September 2019

Stephen Lowe, group communications director for Just Group says: “These figures start to explain why people think care fees are unfair when those footing their own bill are charged many thousands of pounds a year more than another person who could be in the same home and receiving the same care but paid for by the local authority,”

“For many people, planning for later life care consists of crossing their fingers and hoping it doesn’t happen to them but when it does, the cost is a real eye-opener, as our 2019 Care Report reveals.

“Three-quarters of over-45s who had been involved in arranging care said they were surprised by how little financial support the State provides and nearly nine in 10 (88%) were shocked at how expensive care is.

“With the care crisis deepening, the government must take the lead and be clear that reforms are on their way.”

During his leadership campaign, Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged the need for the government to address the care crisis but no timetable has yet been set for its long-awaited green paper on social care. He has also claimed in interviews that money will be made available for social care in this Wednesday’s spending review.

Mr Lowe adds: “The public isn’t fooled by promises and no action – more than half (52%) agree that social care policy is being neglected because of Brexit.

“Brexit is undoubtedly a big issue but the parlous state of today’s social care system is letting everybody down – councils, care homes, care workers and of course the residents who are most vulnerable of all.

“The promise of more funding is welcome but it doesn’t address the total absence of any long-term policy to address the fundamental problems within the social care system.”