Director, Solicitor and specialist in Care Fees Advice Stuart Maher offers his thoughts on an under-reported issue affecting users of Residential Care Homes which leaves those deemed able to fund their own care exposed to significant punitive charges purely because they’ve saved for their future.
Whilst his current focus may be elsewhere, in his initial speech as Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated one of his main aims during his tenure would be to ‘fix the crisis in social care once and for all’.
He is right to highlight the matter as a crisis, the structure of paying for care is flawed, and whilst many attempts to review and identify solutions in social care have been brought to the incumbent governments over the past decade, none have resulted in any lasting impact.
Whilst the Prime Minister should be commended on seeking to find a solution, there is no indication so far as to how he intends to address this, and the failure of his predecessors to enact any lasting change suggests a long road ahead before any legislative amendments are seen.
The media have often pointed at issues in social care covering concerns relating to the level of care provided and monitoring thereof, or the minimum wages provided to the carers looking after care home residents throughout the UK. Both are valid and need attention as part of a wider solution, however the biggest scandal in social care right now is a largely unreported one, and relates to the fees required on entering a residential care home.
There is a huge difference between the fees paid by private funded residents and those who get help with their fees. The burden of the cost for the care provided for those needing assistance is eased on government by overcharging private residents.
On average, those deemed able to fund themselves face an annual fee for care of £44,252 whilst local councils pay £31,720 for a resident unable to fund their own care. This means that two people can be in the same care home, in identical rooms, receiving exactly the same level of care, but because one has accumulated assets sufficient to deem them able to fund their own care, they have to pay over £12500 per year more. This is nothing short of a National scandal.
How can I ensure I or my loved one is protected?
With no legislative change on the immediate horizon, it is imperative that you or your family seek immediate advice on entering into residential care, to ensure that the fees you are asked to pay are appropriate, and that the resident’s affairs are arranged in the most cost effective manner.
To arrange an appointment for a FREE initial consultation to discuss matters, please contact Stuart on 01254 884422, email us, or complete our contact form and one of our specialist care fee advice team will contact you.