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Council may need to pay more for care
COUNCIL bosses in York are facing a financial headache after being told they need to pay more towards supporting people in their care.
A one per cent increase in City of York Council ’s costs for looking after its care-home residents was introduced in April – but an independent group has now said this was not enough.
Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing , cabinet member for health, housing and adult social services, will this week be asked to approve a further one per cent rise in the charges from October 1.
This would mean an additional £61,000 for the remainder of the current year when the adult social care budgets are already stretched.
The annual cost to the council for 2012/13 had already increased by £122,000 following the April rise.
The new proposals were drawn up following talks with the Independent Care Group – which represents care providers if they go ahead and a second rise is agreed, the total additional cost for the whole of 2013/14 would be £244,000.
A report by Gary Brittain, the council’s commissioning and contracts manager, said the authority had agreed to hold a review to find out what care actually costs.
This could lead to the council having to raise its fees further in future, which could put “significant financial pressure” on its budgets.
“It is normal practice to implement any annual increase in the level of fees on April 1,” said a council spokeswoman. “Ongoing negotiations with the ICG continued in order to respond to their representation that the level of increase in April was insufficient.
“The additional cost attached to the proposal for another increase will impact on the existing budget for residential and nursing care, and will have to be managed alongside wider strategies to balance such cost pressures within our 2012/13 budget.”
She said the outcome of a care costs review would have to be considered before a decision was taken on whether they would have to rise again in 2013/14.
Mr Brittain’s report said the ICG had originally asked for a 6.5 per cent increase in the council’s care fees for this year, and some local authorities in the UK had faced legal challenges over the amount they pay.
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