What are the costs of social care that have rocketed in the last year? And why did they rise so sharply?

Concerns are growing over the UK social care system’s inability to cope with an ageing population and pressures on budgets [Image: Matt Cardy/Getty Images].

Concerns are growing over the UK social care system’s inability to cope with an ageing population and pressures on budgets [Image: Matt Cardy/Getty Images].

The problem with this article – and any others that discuss rocketing costs – is that it doesn’t say what those costs are, and it doesn’t say why they have risen.

Is it the cost of maintaining care homes? Utility costs? Medicine/medical help? It can’t be the cost of staff, can it? We’re always being told their wages are at the minimum.

Is it greed on the part of the provider companies and their shareholders?

Is it a cut in funding, ordered by the Conservative Government?

The last seems most likely.

If so, then isn’t it time the Tories were taken to task for failing those who need the best care possible – and are getting the worst?

The cost of social care rocketed over the last year, even as the proportion of services ranked good or outstanding fell, according to a new analysis.

Social care services directory TrustedCare.co.uk found that the price of a week in a care home jumped by almost a quarter over the last year, from an average of £557.86 a week to £686.32, while the cost of a nursing home rose more than a third from £692.17 per week to £924.82. The price per hour of care visits also rose, from £15.01 to £17.02.

The analysis was based on data from providers registered on TrustedCare, as well as calls made by its researchers to more than 100 services in each English county over the last four months.

Source: Cost of social care has rocketed over last year, analysis shows | Society | The Guardian

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8 thoughts on “What are the costs of social care that have rocketed in the last year? And why did they rise so sharply?

  1. David Woods

    Could also be big Pharma’!
    Watching ‘Congress’ on YouTube last night; Inquiry on why cost of a medication rose from $1.75 per pill to $735 per pill just 24 hrs after the company was bought out by a hedge fund company!
    And yes it was medication aimed at prolonging the life of those needing to take it!

  2. Neilth

    This is interesting. Given that ‘costs’ don’t seem to have increased that much if inflation figures are to be believed and that the care staff are mostly on minimum wage which has certainly not gone up by a third it is difficult to see where these increases have come from. It is high time that the financial structures of care providers were examined far more closely in order to discover where the money is disappearing.

    There are many costs to running a care home including care staff, cleaning, management, food, heating, laundry, consumables etc and it is an expensive resource however most of these costs are fixed and subject to inflation so one would expect that increases would be similar. They tend to be minimally staffed and I am not aware of any great increase in these minimum requirements.

    Care visits do not bear any of these costs other than perhaps mileage costs for the staff member where petrol prices are more volatile. The hourly rate is still tied to minimum wages which have not gone up by anything like this amount. All other costs are born by the client as the visits are taking place in their own homes so why do increases not reflect this reality?

    I have my suspicions that increases at this level have more to do with the owners cut than any improvement in the service provided. Care providers must be examined more closely as they are getting public funds to pay for this as clients are usually largely supported by the local authority.

    My mother receives a care package for which she contributes the maximum £240 pm but she gets Attendance Allowance at a slightly higher amount which covers her contribution. The extra is covered by the local council. This is true for many of the elderly people in this county who are supported in their own homes. The costs to the LA are rocketing and they are having to reexamine their budgets in other areas to cover this at a time when they are being squeezed by the government under its austerity agenda. Ok the Tories have agreed a ring fenced increase to the community charge to help with care provision but as the community charge represents a very small part of the LA finances this is a smaller amount than it would at first appear and do not reflect the actual increases in costs.

    Care providers know that LAs have been allowed to put up the community charge to help pay for care and, I suspect, have seen the opportunity to make a grab for their chunk of this money by putting up their prices by an even greater amount.

  3. Ruth

    Could be the minimum wage, and the knock-on effect of ensuring differentials are maintained for all staff grades, plus increased costs of overnight ‘sleep-in’ shifts? In Wales there are still lots of public, third-sector providers who are in it because they care rather than to make a profit. I know that many are really struggling with this combination of cost-hikes, particularly since council budgets are being cut so the extra money isn’t necessarily available. So yes, ultimately this is a problem caused by the Westminster government but it’s not a simple issue.

  4. Barry Davies

    Unless the nursing agencies have increased their charges massively I can’t see how the wage bill could have increased by the amounts the charges have been increased.

  5. helenmaddock33

    The cost has gone up because it is now all in private hands and the budget is no longer paid for by the public sector ie L.A. Private care homes can charge what they like…..and will ……exponentially.

  6. NMac

    I know I sound like a real cynic, but is it all part of the Tory Party’s plan to re-introduce Workhouses?

Comments are closed.