COUNCIL CONCLUDE FEES AGREEMENT
The Highland Council has concluded an
agreement, which will see it significantly increase its payments to the
owners of private residential homes for older people. The
payments, which are (Pounds)16 per person per week more that the
national minimum rate, will be backdated to 1st July. The offer
has been formally accepted by the Highland Branch of Scottish Care, the
body representing residential providers within the Highland area.
It was tabled following national negotiations between the Scottish
Executive, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and Scottish
Councillor Garry Coutts, Chairman of The Highland Councils Housing and Social Work Committee, welcomed the agreement. He said: "I am pleased that we have concluded an agreement with Scottish Care. The fees we have agreed to pay compares most favourably with any other area in Scotland. The outcome reflects the very high regard with which we hold the private home care service in the Highlands." Councillor Coutts said he was disappointed that one private care home owner was not prepared to accept the new fees and remained in dispute with the council. Mrs Sheena Sutherland, owner of the Helmsdale Home in Fort William, had given the council until 5 November to find new accommodation for the nine residents placed in the home by the council. He said the Council was entirely happy with the service provided at Helmsdale and, if circumstances allowed, he would be delighted if the residents remained there.
However, he said the Council could not
give Mrs Sutherland special treatment by paying her more. He said:
"Given that the Council has been served notice to find new
accommodation, we have no alternative but to identify suitable
alternatives. One alternative is to provide accommodation in
Invernevis Home, Fort William.
As part of these national discussions, the Scottish Executive has released an additional £17.5 million over two years to local authorities to pay for nursing and residential care for older people. Also as part of these national discussions, a national minimum rate for the purchase of nursing and residential care has been set for all Scottish Local Authorities to follow. In terms of residential care, COSLA advised that all local authorities must pay a minimum of £231.70 per person per week for older people in residential care from 1st July 2001. Within The Highland Council area, a base rate is paid for the purchase of residential care and in addition to this rate, quality supplements totalling £12 per person per week are also paid to providers providing single room and en-suite services. These quality supplements are intended to promote higher standards of care.
As part of the COSLA deal, The Highland Council has offered an additional £10.70 to all residential providers within the Highland area.