Sheffield City Council have agreed to plough more cash into care homes rather than the planned 2% in the budget – after criticism from regional care organisations.
In 2021/22, just 2% of the council’s £191.7m expenditure is set to go towards the category of schools investment and social care, as opposed to 36% on economic growth and regeneration.
A report to the cabinet said: “Following the feedback from providers and further market analysis, the Council has reflected on the feedback and the risk to the market of the initially proposed uplift and is recommending a higher increase to care home non-staffing costs and the investment of an additional £4.2m into salaries of front line staffing.”
The cabinet has also thrown out plans to adjust the care home fee to mirror lower occupancy levels caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This is on the grounds that such measures would have “very different implications for homes depending on their occupancy with some gaining and others still struggling to achieve viability.”
The cabinet approved an increase to the fee rates for home care, extra care and supported living on the Council’s standard contracted and framework rate and to direct payment providers of 4.99%, as well as approving an increase to the fee rate for day activities and standard rate care homes of 4.89%
The Sheffield Care Association said :: “The “cut” in 2020/21 has been the difference between the 6.2% needed to cover the national minimum and living wage increase and the 4.9% offered by the SCC / CCG. Inflation, other cost increases and wage rises are not included in this comparison, so this is not the full extent of the cut being faced by care homes.”
The Sheffield Care association also added: “The financial pressures faced by homes during the pandemic compounded the historic under-funding of adult social care in Sheffield. Most care homes in the city are only sustainable if running at or near capacity and many have seen a huge number of empty beds as a result of local decision making by the Council, Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Trusts.”