Our perspective on private fee subsidisation

Read the open letter from our Chief Executive

April 13, 2017

To all residents and relatives,

You may have seen recent media coverage about a parliamentary report on adult care which highlighted fragility and unfairness in the market nationally.

The cross-party report, by the Communities and Local Government Committee, identified several care providers that have recently been advised by councils to subsidise fees for social services placements by charging higher rates for private clients receiving essentially the same accommodation and services.  

As well as being unfair in itself, the MPs said subsidisation risked polarising the market as providers in more affluent areas would find it easier to charge higher rates to private payers than those in poorer areas. 

I agree with the MPs’ call for a more sustainable funding solution to meet the care needs of the ageing population given that many care providers were shown to be regularly topping up or ‘subsidising’ local authority fees with payments from people who fund their own care.

However I’d like to reassure you that Colten Care does not operate any such subsidisation policy as we consider it unfair to those who had planned for and saved towards their care costs in later life.

The country certainly faces a major challenge regarding the provision of elderly care but people shouldn’t feel subsidisation is the case with all operators. 

Those like us, who don’t rely on social services funding, aren’t affected. Well over 90 per cent of Colten Care’s residents are privately funded and we work very hard to avoid subsidisation. 

For the record, we fundamentally disagree with the principle of residents funding other residents’ care needs. 

At Colten Care, you can be totally confident that all of your fees are charged in respect of your own individual care. Subsidisation is unfair to private fee payers who may have worked all their lives to amass assets to pay for their own care. For them to go on to find that a percentage of their fee is going to support other people’s needs is just plain wrong.” 

In circumstances where a privately funded Colten Care resident was becoming ‘capital depleted’ - in other words they have reached the capital threshold to pay for care and are therefore in need of social services contributions - a solution is always embarked on to try and enable them to continue living in their care home of choice through negotiation with the local authority and family members.

We are proud that no-one living in our homes subsidises anyone else. At the same time, we agree with the MPs’ headline call for a properly funded care system nationally that is fairer, simpler and sustainable to meet the needs of our ageing population.  

Kind regards,
Mark Aitchison
Chief Executive