In news that comes to a shock to nobody, apart from perhaps the Daily Mail, MPs have reported that self-funders in residential care homes are paying more for rooms than local authority funded residents.
The cross-subsidy highlighted in this report from the Commons Communities and Local Government Committee is making the headlines today, despite being widespread practice for many years.
Last year, a report from Age UK found local authorities are typically paying between £421 and £624 a week for a care home place, with self-funders paying between £603 and £867 a week.
Here in Surrey, the situation is particularly bad, as Surrey County Council has the lowest contribution rate for care fees funding in England.
Combined with very expensive care home fees and the closure of local authority managed care homes across the county (including here in Cranleigh), this means self-funded care home residents in Surrey are paying a huge premium to subsidise residents who are supposedly funded by the local authority.
The system for funding adult social care is truly broken and in need of urgent reform.
Whether or not the government has the appetite to tackle these issues is yet to be seen. Recent experience suggests they do not and the status quo is likely to continue.
‘We do not believe it is acceptable for self-funders to pay higher costs for the same care in order to subsidise the costs of local authority-funded clients,’