Agenda item

Care Home Fee-Setting Policy


The Corporate Director, Social Services and Wellbeing presented a report seeking approval from Cabinet to implement a Care Home Fee-Setting Policy from 2023/24.


The Corporate Director, Social Services and Wellbeing outlined the purpose of the policy, the background and the current situation/proposal. She explained that they had commissioned the Institute of Public Care, following a fair, open and transparent procurement process, to support the authority to work independently with care homes and to develop the fee setting policy in Bridgend. IPC had also been commissioned nationally by the National Commission Board to support their work. The Care Home Fee-Setting Policy was included at appendix 1 to the report and it set out the approach, the context and background and how the fees were set for care homes within BCBC.


The Deputy Leader was pleased to note that the Policy was developed in conjunction with care home providers and reminded Cabinet that there were no further budget implications as a result of this policy and that they would continue to review the cost prices every year.  


The Leader stressed that the review that formed the basis of this was undertaken by an independent organisation having undertaken a detailed cost of care analysis of the costs of care to the independent sector. He added that they were very open in sharing these costs. The review date was scheduled for March 2027, and he asked for confirmation that there would be trigger points for reviews during that time period. He also asked if the work undertaken was on a regional footprint and, with regard to the guidance provided by WG, if there were any further changes, the policy would be reviewed accordingly to reflect these.


The Corporate Director, Social Services and Wellbeing replied that the factors which drove the cost of care within the policy were set out within Table One of the report and there could be exceptional circumstances in relation to any of those particular drivers. She provided an example of a particular trigger, gas, electricity and water rates accounting for 5% of the weighting which could increase or decrease in future years resulting in a need to review the policy. She added that they would act accordingly because of the statutory duty about needing to understand the actual costs.

In terms of the regional position in Bridgend, BCBC were part of the Cwm Taff Morgannwg Regional Partnership Board and the Regional Safeguarding Board and both of these statutory regional partnerships had a key interest in terms of the care home sector. A market stability report was approved by Cabinet in July 2021, along with all other Councils and the Health Board, which set out the state of the care home market and the commission priorities which they could work on together. The statutory guidance went back to 2010 and that set out what was required to understand the costs of care. BCBC had decided, in making this recommendation, to adopt good practice about how to set a care home fee policy, but it may be more mandated in future years.


The Leader noted that one of the requirements was around the payment of at least the real living wage to social care staff. There was additional funding that had been made available and Bridgend was one of the first local authorities to adopt that approach.


RESOLVED:       That Cabinet approved the implementation of the Care Home Fee Setting Policy, to take effect from the end of April 2023.

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