Medway Council logo
Go to navigation

Agenda item

Councillor Murray asked the Portfolio Holder for Adult Services, Councillor Brake, the following:

The Local Government Association estimates that the size of the funding gap in providing adult social care in England by 2020 is £2.6bn. For some Councils year on year cuts have reduced the hourly rate they pay to domiciliary care providers from £15 per hour to between £12 and £13 per hour which according to the UK homecare Association, barely covers the cost of a care worker's salary (paid at the minimum living wage), statutory holiday, travel, sickness and pension entitlements.

 

Can the Portfolio Holder tell me how much Medway Council pay per hour to both homecare and care home providers who are looking after our most vulnerable and elderly people making reference to whether he agrees with me that if the Government do not make more funding available for the provision of social care we will be unable to ensure that safe care arrangements to those entitled to support can be made?

Minutes:

“The Local Government Association estimates that the size of the funding gap in providing adult social care in England by 2020 is £2.6bn. For some Councils year on year cuts have reduced the hourly rate they pay to domiciliary care providers from £15 per hour to between £12 and £13 per hour which according to the UK homecare Association, barely covers the cost of a care worker's salary (paid at the minimum living wage), statutory holiday, travel, sickness and pension entitlements.

 

Can the Portfolio Holder tell me how much Medway Council pay per hour to both homecare and care home providers who are looking after our most vulnerable and elderly people making reference to whether he agrees with me that if the Government do not make more funding available for the provision of social care we will be unable to ensure that safe care arrangements to those entitled to support can be made?”

 

Councillor Brake thanked Councillor Murray for her question. He stated that the Council regularly reviewed the rates it paid for social care services.

The UK Home Care Association published a report in 2016 which directly quoted Medway Council’s average hourly rates following a Freedom of Information Act request submitted to the Council in May 2016.   

 

Medway’s published average hourly rate was £14.78, with the highest being £20.46 and the lowest being £11.45.

 

He stated that the Council had put home care services out to tender in late 2015 and the Council’s new contract commenced on 1 April 2016. This was a framework agreement for a period of 4 years, to 31 March 2020. The Council increased the capped rates from £12.05 per hour to £14.40 per hour, and set new half hourly and ¾ hourly rates. The Council also introduced a two tier pricing system for urban and rural locations, with care for rural wards capped at £15.80 per hour. 

 

Since implementing this contract on 1 April 2016, the Adults Access to Resources Team had dealt with 1,383 referrals for care packages. The Council was currently meeting demand for care packages.

 

He stated that since the new homecare contract commenced on 1 April 2016, no providers had handed back the contract.  Commissioners met regularly with providers to review contract arrangements and only one of the agencies had reported recruitment difficulties, primarily because they operate outside of the area.

 

The Council did not capture costs to Care Home Providers on the basis of an hourly rate, but on a weekly cost basis.

 

Care Home services for people with disabilities were funded on an individual basis in order to meet the specific needs of service users. The average weekly price for a residential care home placement for clients with disabilities across learning disability, physical disability and mental health service user groups was £1,253.

 

He stated that it was important to note that the health service paid an additional sum (FNC) of £156.25 per week to the provider, for every person that was placed in nursing care.

 

He stated that, in answer to the point whether he agreed with Councillor Murray that if the government did not make more funding available for the provision of social health care, the Council would be unable to ensure that safe care arrangements to those entitled to support could be made, that this was a hypothetical question but he assured her that safety was paramount to all that the Council did for vulnerable people.