Care home costs in Ceredigion, set to rise by at least eight per cent, will have risen by between 39 and 55 per cent in just three years.

In Ceredigion there are nine independent care homes (six residential and three nursing) and six local authority-run care homes.

A standard fee is set for older persons’ placements that are commissioned by the council in private residential and nursing care homes within the county, split into four categories: Residential, Residential EMI, Nursing, and Nursing EMI.

In late 2021 the council commissioned an external organisation to undertake an independent review of the fees, as a result of the work undertaken by Laing Buisson, Ceredigion saw the 2022/23 fees increase significantly, and in 2023/24 it applied an inflationary uplift in costs, averaging 8.8 per cent.

In those two years, fees have increased by a minimum of 28.4 per cent, and a maximum of 43.8 per cent.

Last year that saw Residential rise by £67 to £827, Residential EMI £884 (+£72), Nursing £961 (+£78), and Nursing EMI £961 (+£78).

In a report presented to the May 14 meeting of Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet by Deputy Leader Cllr Alun Williams, members heard discussions had taken place with the care providers for the 2024-25 year, proposing an uplift ranging from 8.22 to 8.37 per cent, which saw none accepting.

A revised offer, including an Additional Cost Contribution as part of an enhanced offer for en-suite rooms at an extra £25 per week where applicable, was then made.

“All three nursing homes have rejected the proposed fees, three residential homes have accepted the proposed fees, albeit accepting the fee in recognition of the council’s financial position.  The remaining three residential homes have not accepted the proposed fees,” members heard.

The report added: “The fee offer needs to be considered within the context of the council’s significant financial pressures for 24/25 and it should be noted that the proposed percentage uplifts for OP Care Homes of over 8.2 per cent is well in excess of the council’s increase in core funding from Welsh Government of 2.9 per cent.

“The council has been engaging with providers since late September 2023 and has made two fee proposal offers.  It has done everything in its power to give care home providers in Ceredigion an uplift for 24/25 that is both affordable within the budget provision available and that takes account of the key variables affecting care homes such as the increase in the Real Living Wage and other inflationary related impacts.

“There are general issues that have been raised by providers that the fee is not sufficient to cover costs, but the comments raised have not been supported by a robust evidence base.”

Members agreed to back an increase, with an additional £25 per week where applicable, to:  Residential £896 (+£69), Residential EMI £958 (+£74), Nursing and Nursing EMI £1,040 (+£79).

This means fees have increased, since the 2021 figures, by 39 per cent, 39.6 per cent, 55.65 per cent and 46.1 per cent respectively.

Cabinet also noted that fees in accordance with contracts for a small number of private contracts inherited following the transfer of Hafan y Waun to the council and that fees for these placements will continue.