Wigan nursing home fees set to increase by three per cent

Wigan Town Hall
Wigan Town Hall

Care and nursing home fees across Wigan borough will be subject to an inflation-busting rise as the town hall makes plans to cope with market pressures.

Fees for standard care packages will increase by three per cent, working out at around £11 or £12 per week.

Meanwhile, high or specialist care costs will rise by five per cent, around £25 per week.

Council bosses say the hike will cover rising running costs - including the increase in the national living wage -

in order to deliver “high quality homes”.

The plan has been approved by members of the ruling cabinet and will come into force for 2017/18.

Joanne Willmott, assistant director for provider management at Wigan Council, said: “The challenges facing the nursing and residential sector are not unique, and we have a plan to work with providers and with our partners to deliver the very best care.

“The increase in fees will enable us to have high quality homes with a valued and dedicated workforce.”

A report presented to the cabinet detailing the fee changes identified the rising national living wage as one of the factors contributing to the rise.

It reads: “Wigan Council welcomes the increase in recognition and reward for the majority of low paid workers while at the same time understanding the pressure that this places upon an existing fragile market.

“This is a particular challenge in the context of radically reduced settlements for local authorities, with significant further savings required over the coming years.”

A recent report from charity Independent Age claimed elderly people across the country are effectively being forced into sub-standard care homes because of falling standards and a lack of choice.

However, Wigan emerged with a more favourable outlook than other areas as latest figures suggest the borough’s standards were improving with 70 per cent rated as good and none rated as inadequate.

Ms Willmott added: “There is a real commitment to make sure our care homes are great places that deliver compassionate care for our residents.

“The Deal is about connecting people with their local communities. The transformation of care homes will see them as community assets, enabling people to live a good life, supporting people with very complex needs and keeping people out of acute settings.

“As part of the wider offer for care homes, last year we also introduced our £1m Innovation Fund which providers could bid for to help us make sure our care homes are fit for the future.”

In order to set the new costs, the council invited private providers to “submit detailed financial information regarding current delivery costs to inform the setting of a local fair price for care”, the cabinet report added.