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By Debbie le Quesne

Deadline on report “unreasonable”

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Care home operators in Sheffield are considering legal action against the borough’s city council over a deadline for feedback on a funding report.

They believe the six-day deadline proposed by the authority for providers to offer comments on the Fees and Market Analysis: Care Homes 2013-14 report is unreasonable.

And it appears the Fairer Fee Forum (FFF) has also agreed that there is merit in pursuing the case.

According to Care Industry News, the online magazine, the forum proposes to correspond with the Council addressing this issue and requesting a more reasonable timescale for the consultation period.

The Council will be aware that the timing of the report falls close to the schools’ half-term holidays and many providers could be on a break and unable to respond in time.

Is this an oversight, or a devious bit of political timing? Either way, it’s good to gave bodies like the FFF, which continues to put pressure on the Council for a fair decision making process in setting care home fees, onside.

Aston Brooke solicitors, a firm which have successfully represented care providers in challenging fees set by Local Authorities, have been instructed by the Fairer Fee Forum to act on its behalf and already the deadline has been extended 14 days.

The FFF is also concerned that the Council has indicated a 1.86 per cent increase in fees paid to independent providers of residential and nursing care, which “indicates a possible failure to pay due attention to the cost of providing these services,” according to Care Industry News.

Predictably, the care providers are worried that the quality of care they are able to provided to their local authority clients is not sustainable unless fees become more realistic.

I’m sure many more stories like this will emerge over the next weeks as we begin the long, hard, slog to negotiate fees on behalf of our members. I can only hope that the officers with whom we deal, will be earthed in the realities of the cost of good care provision.

And finally, I’d love to see the contents of the  Fees and Market Analysis: Care Homes 2013-14. Interesting reading, no doubt! 

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Written by debbielq

February 28, 2013 at 8:39 am

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