To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what factors are assessed when deciding the fee level a local authority will pay per funded care home place; and whether he has plans to raise fee levels.
Under the Care Act 2014, local authorities have a duty to manage local care markets. The Care Act guidance states that local authorities should assure and have evidence that fee levels are appropriate to provide the agreed quality of care and enable providers to effectively support care users and invest in staff development, innovation and improvement.
We are committing £1.36 billion to the Market Sustainability and Fair Cost of Care Fund over the next three years. On 24 March 2022, we published guidance which provides advice to local authorities for completing and returning cost of care exercises to the Department and templates which local authorities must use as part of an acceptable submission. These state a standard list of cost lines to assess care home providers. Where average fee rates are below the fair cost of care, we expect local authorities to use the Fund to begin to move towards paying providers a fair cost of care and to set out in the Market Sustainability Plans how this will be achieved.