Proposals to bring in a new approach to pay for residential and nursing placements for older people in Leeds have been backed by senior councillors.
Spending on residential and nursing care for the elderly in the independent sector is a major part of Leeds City Council’s adult social care budget with fees paid for care previously agreed with individual providers.
Last year the local authority agreed to press ahead with plans to close a number of council-run homes as part of budget cutbacks.
The council says the new five-year fees deal will ensure all nursing and residential care homes awarded a contract with the authority provide high standards of care. They will also operate to a new fee structure.
The fees that are currently paid to providers have always been negotiated on an individual basis, which is time consuming for both the council and each of the homes. In addition to this, the range of fees across the city varies greatly.
The council was also mindful of the problems created by the collapse of the Southern Cross organisation and keen to put arrangements in place to avoid the same happening in Leeds in the future. A review was set up after research showed the range of fees the council was paying varied greatly and that some fees were too high.
The council’s executive board member for adult social care, Coun Lucinda Yeadon, said: “Not only will the proposed fee structure provide stability to the council throughout the life of the five-year contracts, it will also offer peace of mind to relatives of people in residential care that they will not be asked to pay more for that care through a third party top up.
“Any savings made by the council through the new arrangements will be reinvested into adult social care services.”