Adult social care payments to care homes and domiciliary carers are to rise across Essex to mitigate inflation and rising costs of fuel.
Essex County Council say the changes are necessary to ensure the adult social care supply chain can withstand the unexpected pressures caused by rising inflation and fuel costs, which had not been foreseen in previous uplifts and budgeting.
Specifically, this is an additional permanent uplift for contracted care home providers and a temporary uplift to contracted domiciliary care rates in lieu of the rising price of fuel.
It means from July 1 2022, the weekly rate of all care home placements both residential and nursing will be increased by 0.75 per cent capped at £690.90 per week for residential and £841.26 per week for nursing placements.
It is expected that approximately 360 adults who already meet the full cost of their care will cover the uplift in the cost of their package through increased client contributions.
The weekly rate for packages commissioned within adults with disability (AWD) and mental health residential settings are to increase by a further 0.83 per cent
The increases in total will cost Essex County Council around an extra £1m to be managed within the overall Adult Social Care budget.
Essex County Council is also set to help providers of domiciliary care being affected by fuel price increases by uplifting payments by 12p per hour until April 1 2023.
The estimated additional cost of this increase is approximately £510,000 to be funded from the Adults Risk Reserve.
Essex County Council says the increased payments to care homes will permanently increase baseline expenditure. However, it adds that if the increased inflationary pressures are not addressed, there is the risk that providers will be unwilling or unable to accommodate adults at the current rates, leading to escalating prices.
A statement as part of a Essex County Council decision to be signed off by Councillor John Spence, cabinet member for adult social care and health said: “For some social care services, the impact of the price increases factored into the CPI (including the cost of energy and food) is particularly high.
“These are predominantly those that are an accommodation-based service, where those costs fall on the supplier (for example care home provision). Other accommodation options (e.g. supported housing, extra care) have different models, where the accommodation element is paid for by the service user through a tenancy with the council funding the care delivery element.
“In these services, suppliers are less directly exposed to rising CPI rates.
“Other social care services are more directly affected by rises in the cost of fuel.
“In particular, domiciliary care providers deliver support for people in their own home through the operation of care ‘rounds’ in local areas.
“This means that travel expenditure has to be factored into their costs and business models.
“It is proposed that market support is offered to mitigate the impact of the rise in CPI and the increase in the cost of fuel.”