‘Social care postcode lottery is failing residents & firms’ – Shadow Minister

The Welsh Conservatives’ Shadow Minister for Social Care – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has today (22 June) called on the Welsh Government to work with local authorities to draft a national plan of action to address the disparity in care home fee payments across Wales.

Her intervention came as Care Forum Wales published a “league table of shame” over the weekend, to highlight those local authorities which pay the lowest care home fees amid the coronavirus crisis.

The organisation, which represents more than 450 social care providers in Wales, says that the difference between the highest and lowest weekly fee per person is more than £12,000 a year. Their figures suggest that, over a twelve-month period, this difference would equate to nearly £500,000 in a care home with 40 residents.

Speaking of the situation, Janet said:

“The existence of a postcode lottery is not only failing care home residents, many of whom are society’s most vulnerable, but it also poses a real and present danger to the longevity of many Welsh firms.

“The social care sector is an essential job provider, employing approximately 64,000 people throughout Wales. Welsh Government Ministers should support our care firms in their wish to take a leading role in the nation’s post pandemic economic recovery.

“However, that wish cannot come true without equal financial backing. The Welsh Government must urgently work with our local authorities to draft a national action plan that adequately ensures fair funding for social care firms across Wales.

“I welcome the revelation that my home authority, Conwy, is paying above the Welsh average weekly fee to support local care homes. I hope the action plan will see this replicated across our nation to support these vital firms through this most challenging of periods.