Inquiry required to investigate social care postcode lottery

The Welsh Conservatives’ Shadow Minister for Social Care – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has today (1 July) urged the Welsh Government to launch an inquiry into the variation of fees received by care homes from local authorities across Wales.

Recent figures have revealed that an EMI home in Powys receives a weekly fee of £559, whereas in Cardiff the figure is £793.48. Over the course of a year, that would approximate £12,192.96 more for every resident in Cardiff than in Powys. 

Care Forum Wales has also published its “league table of shame”, to highlight those local authorities which pay the lowest care home fees amid the coronavirus crisis.

Speaking of the regional disparity, Janet said:

 “We have long been warned by sector professionals that the COVID-19 pandemic will see the closure of many Welsh care homes. This is a desperately sad fact, especially as many of these job creators wish to take a leading role in the nation’s post pandemic economic recovery.

“Struggling firms are not helped by a concerning variation in the fees received from local authorities. The existence of this appalling postcode lottery fails care home providers and residents.

“Now is the time to rectify this longstanding issue. An urgent inquiry is required to investigate how this discrepancy affects the quality and sustainability of care received by some of society’s most vulnerable people.

“I also urge the Welsh Government to work with our local authorities to publish a national action plan that adequately ensures access to fair funding for social care firms across Wales.