Closure of 10 care homes pushes up charges to Northamptonshire County Council

Ten care homes closed in Northamptonshire in 2014-15 financial year
Ten care homes closed in Northamptonshire in 2014-15 financial year

Nursing home managers in Northamptonshire are pushing up the prices they charge local authorities in the wake of a series of care home closures.

The analysis comes from a Northamptonshire County Council’s draft accounts.

The financial report says County Hall’s Adults and Transitions budget was “put under huge pressure” last year from “failure within the residential and nursing market where 10 care homes closed during 2014-15.

The report says there has been a resultant “increasing lack of beds” in the ‘expected to pay rate’ bracket, that is those offered to councils at a lower rate.

The report concludes that this has “driven up average residential and nursing unit prices across client groups”.

Councillor Robin Brown, the former cabinet member for adult social care, said the council was aware of the ongoing problem and was working to resolve it.

However, a Northamptonshire County Council spokeswoman said: the issue was being eased by the opening of new care homes.

She said: “While there have been a number of care home closures over the past 12 months, the number of beds available to us has increased overall due to a number of new care homes opening.

“We continue to work closely with care providers in the private sector to ensure there is sufficient capacity for residential and care home beds.

“Furthermore, we are also working to commission an enhanced range of preventative and re-ablement services to enable people to remain in the familiar surroundings of their own home for longer.”