Care England have studied average fees paid by local authorities across England and compared these to the latest reported fair cost of care (FCC) rates.
Across all councils and just over 178,000 local authority-funded residents, as at April 2022, the average difference between what an authority paid for residential fees and the FCC was £218 per week, while the figure rose to £231 for nursing care.
“The evidence is clear. The care sector is being significantly underfunded by local authorities and requires significant investment by central government. The continued funding shortage needs to be tackled head-on,’ said Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England.
The government is injecting £7.5bn into social care over the next two years and this is aimed at creating an additional 200,000 care packages and supporting the early discharge of people from hospital to ease the NHS backlog. “Our analysis indicates that the £7.5bn will not scratch the surface in tackling the inherent issue of local authorities underfunding care packages and the rising gap between fees paid and the cost of care caused by inflation,’ said Professor Green.