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Care home price increases must be linked to services

18th November 2005

Increases in care home fees must be linked to increased services and higher care standards, Scottish deputy health minister Lewis MacDonald told Scottish Care today.

Speaking at Scottish Care's annual conference in Glasgow Mr MacDonald said he wants to see the government's investment into care home costs put to best use and warned local authorities about charging unwarranted top-up fees.

He said he had received "assurances from both COSLA and Scottish Care" that a framework to spend the funding and prevent top-ups would be in place April 2007.

"Clearly, I want to see these resources put to best use. I know that Scottish Care and local authorities have been working on a model which would clearly link future fee increases to tough conditions on services and quality," he said.

"The fee levels recommended for next year must put to rest once and for all charging of unwarranted top-up fees. Recent media coverage of this issue did nobody in the business any favours. It highlighted cases where older people's own personal allowances were being used for top-ups. That was simply not acceptable," he added.

Mr MacDonald told the conference although top-ups are entirely legitimate, they must never be an additional levy on the basic level of care package, but should be for a clearly defined additional service.