Care fees rise will be another financial blow

Care home and care support costs in Kirklees are set to rise.

It will be the second time since October that costs have risen and the decision, made by Kirkless Council’s cabinet members on Tuesday, comes alongside announcements that transport, meals and security costs for care patients will rise by 2 per cent.

The basic fee for nursing care will rise by £7.15 bringing the total cost to £436.78 a week while those in residential care will see a rise of £6.48 or a total of £418.24.

Those receiving dementia care can expect the same rise to £456.78 for nursing care and £438.24 for residential care.

Non-residential care will increase by £6.48 to £446.98 with all changes taking effect from 7 April.

The council also raised fees for day opportunity transport from £1.75 per journey to £1.80, up 30p since last year, while day opportunity meals will increase from £1.20 to £1.25.

Kirklees said the rise in support costs were needed to achieve better outcomes for care users and their families and that it considered the financial pressures care homes faced, such as rising fuel costs.

The decision came a week after charity Age UK released a damning report warning publicly-funded social care was increasingly restricted by government cuts leaving financially squeezed local authorities only able to offer help if a person’s needs were deemed ‘substantial or above’.

A spokesperson said: “At the moment too many older people who have contributed to society all their lives are left to fend for themselves when they need care and support. We cannot continue to sacrifice their safety and dignity.”

Former Kirklees care home worker Michael Poppleton, 70, said he agreed that care homes needed more funding but said he was saddened the elderly could not chose how to spend their life savings.

“The NHS promised free care from the cradle to the grave - that can’t happen now,” he said.

Kirklees Council said it offered means-tested assessments to determine the level of contribution individuals or family members were expected to make towards a person’s care.