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Care home fees continue to spiral upward

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The average cost of care home fees has risen by almost 25 per cent in the space of 12 months, recent figures have revealed.

League tables show that the bills for both residential and nursing care have increased dramatically.

This is thought to be, in part, a result of the fact that funding from local authorities has been slashed and homes having to cope with an increase in staffing costs, following the introduction of the National Living Wage.

The cost of care has caused difficulties across the country, but the figures suggest that the most expensive homes are to be found in Buckinghamshire and County Durham; residents typically pay £907 a week in both regions.

The increasing costs are particularly dispiriting for families, given that analysis also suggests that the quality of care is declining even as the fees creep upwards.

The proportion of care services ranked as “good” or “outstanding” fell by 10 per cent in the course of a year and there appears to be little correlation between how much is paid for services and the standard they operate at.

George McNamara, the Alzheimer’s Society’s head of policy, said: “This report shows yet another huge crack in the social care system where some of the most vulnerable people in society with the most complex needs are expected to pay through the nose for crucial care.

“Extortionate, unfair fees and continued budget cuts to local authorities are leaving many families with a heart-breaking raw deal.”

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director, shared these concerns and said the situation which confronted many people was “awful.”

“Care home fees are rising and yet quality is falling…This is of huge concern to Age UK, as it will be to many thousands of older people and their families.”