Costs for care to go up in Solihull as borough faces budget shortfall - The Solihull Observer

Costs for care to go up in Solihull as borough faces budget shortfall

Solihull Editorial 7th Jan, 2020 Updated: 23rd Jan, 2020   0

ELDERLY and disabled people in Solihull are facing higher costs for care – due to a potential £1 million budget shortfall.

Residents with physical disabilities will see their care costs increase by over £500 per year.

Charges will go up by two per cent, as the adult social care budget in Solihull borough faces a £1 million shortfall by 2022.

Higher wages for care staff and a reduction in contributions from the NHS threaten to put the council’s care budget in the red.

Solihull Council is looking to ‘restructure’ charges for care, in addition to the two per cent increase to meet inflationary pressures.

Charges for looking after the elderly will go up from £52.70 to £53.80 per day.

Charges for caring for the physically disabled will increase from £101.60 to £103.60 per day.

People with learning disabilities will see care costs increase from £54.10 to £55.20 per day.

A consultation has started on the care budget ahead of a council cabinet meeting in February.

In 2021, the council will receive a one-off payment from the government’s Better Care Fund to compensate for an increase in the minimum wage, which will be set in 2022 at £9.19 for those aged over 25.

The fund gives financial support for councils and NHS organisations to pool their services, Solihull’s Adult Social Care budget will receive £14.6 million from the Better Care Fund and an NHS Winter Pressures fund in 2021, but the government has not confirmed this funding will continue to be provided into 2022.

By then, wage pressure from care providers is set to cost the borough an extra £1.5 million.

The borough hopes to raise £1 million to boost its budget by opening a care home off Tanworth Road and increasing charges for its care packages.

Councillors have agreed not to cut services in adult social care, as pressures in the borough become greater due to an ageing population and greater need for dementia care.

Grants from the NHS for public health have been cut by 15 per cent from 2016 to 2022, resulting in a £2 million loss.

The reduced public health budget has seen a fall in bidders for adult care tenders, leading to fewer providers for an increasing number of people needing care.

Note – this article was edited to clarify overall annual costs for care. Care packages provide visits only on working weekdays, so cost calculations do not include weekends or bank holidays.

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