Early indications suggest that England will see an average local authority fee review of circa 1.5% for the current financial year.
Research carried out by HPC of all English local authorities with responsibility for elderly care provision/placement confirms that, despite ongoing austerity, a more positive approach has been taken by councils reviewing residential care fees in April 2012. The average uplift in April 2011 was approximately 0.1% - down from circa 0.8% in 2010. With many local authorities still subject to ongoing consultation with providers, HPC research is based upon fees actually confirmed to date across 100 of the total 152 local authority areas.
With economic conditions as uninspiring as 12 months ago, the reason behind a more positive review is open to conjecture. The likelihood is that most councils will have wanted to make a more positive gesture in the face of increasing forced closures and administration scenarios. Of more concern, from a financial perspective, would be the risk of litigation costs as care home operators increasingly vent their frustration through the legal process.
With such significant financial risk involved in litigation, many local authorities and care home operators are likely to seek professional advice in respect of the Fair Price for Care. The Directors of HPC, working alongside leading financial advisors PwC, have an established track record, successfully engineering outcomes acceptable to both sides of the debate. Nigel Newton Taylor, Director of HPC, confirmed ‘I think that the Fair Price for Care service will increase further in popularity over the next few years. Working alongside PwC, the HPC concept provides a fee basis which appropriately reflects the cost of both care and environment provision. Regardless of whether contracted by commissioner or provider, we can act as an independent advisor and believe that it is this unbiased facilitation that has proved successful historically’.
The full research report will be made available on the HPC website in due course.June 2012