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By Debbie le Quesne

‘No more savings’ by squeezing prices on care

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Councils have kept provider fees frozen for a number of years, so says the ADASS Budget Survey 2015 report.

At best increases have not anywhere met the real economic price of services rendered.

This year the annual budget report notes only £32 million of efficiencies will be found through this route (just three per cent of overall savings).

In the context of providers selling up, staff turnover, quality, wages, and the need for a million more care workers in the future, maintaining a caring, compassionate and trained workforce in a sustainable provider market is now a key concern.

Some 56 per cent of directors report that providers are facing financial difficulties now.

Additionally there are concerns about the quality of care. The report states that in CQC’s published data in April 2015, 8.7 per cent of adult social care providers inspected were rated as inadequate and a further 31.9 per cent as ‘requiring improvement’.

Most local authorities are not going to be able to make further savings by squeezing the prices that providers are paid, the council bosses say. Indeed, it is likely, they add, that many are going to have to pay more if providers are to be able to attract workers as unemployment falls.

The survey asked Directors to detail any percentage increase, percentage decrease or no change to independent sector provider fees inclusive of inflation in 2015/16 compared to 2014/15.

In total 67 per cent of councils increased provider fees, 31 per cent of councils made no changes and two per cent decreased provider fees in 2015/16.

Anyone ever tried a G&T for breakfast. Feels like I should be giving myself a shot of anaesthesia to welcome my day at the office.

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