CARE homes for the elderly fees in Ceredigion are expected to increase by far lower rates than last year, if a recommendation before senior councillors is approved.
Last year saw the costs of one nursing category rise by more than a third.
Members of Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet, meeting on April 4, are to consider a recommendation setting the weekly fees for placements in the county’s independent sector care homes for older people in the forthcoming year.
A standard fee is set for older persons’ placements that are commissioned by the council in private residential and nursing care homes within the county, split into four categories: Residential, Residential EMI, Nursing, and Nursing EMI.
A report for members states that, last year, the council commissioned an external organisation to independently review its care home fees, implementing the outcome of its report.
That saw fees in the four categories rise by £116 to £760, by £126 to £812, by £215.15 to £883.30, and by £171.82 to £883.30 per week respectively.
The report says that undertaking a complete analysis of costs every year is not considered realistic, instead proposing a fuller analysis is done every three to four years and that, in the intervening years, “annual uplift considerations would be based around an inflationary index-type approach”.
It is recommended to set this at 8.86 per cent for the 2023-24 year.
The report says: “The total cost of the proposed 8.86 per cent fee increase is estimated to be an additional c£40k per year if placement volumes stay constant, broadly equivalent to one additional residential placement.”
It adds: “With inflation remaining high, these are challenging times for most businesses and the private residential and nursing care homes sector is no different.”
It is also proposed to align council-run care home fees at the same level.
If approved on April 4, the new rates for the four categories would be: Residential £827 (+£67), Residential EMI £884 (+£72), Nursing £961 (+£78), and Nursing EMI £961 (+£78).
The nursing categories listed excluded the council-funding nursing care element of £7.86 per week.
In Ceredigion there are 10 Independent sector care homes (seven residential homes and three nursing homes) and five Local Authority-run care homes