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Care home costs warning

21st September 2009

Charities Help the Aged and Age Concern have warned that councils are failing to meet the cost of care home charges and patients' families are being forced to provide the shortfall.

Hands Young and Old

They said that around £60 a week had to be paid by some families in top up care charges.

"As local authority budgets come under tighter pressure, it's definitely something we anticipate getting worse unless government ministers get together with local authority leaders and thrash something out here," spokesman Patrick South told the BBC.

The body which represents care homes, The National Care Association, stated that they were receiving more requests to supply a much broader range of services because patients with difficult medical needs were being cared for in the community, rather than in hospital.

Care Services minister Phil Hope said £500 million had been assigned as extra funding for care and it was "up to local authorities to make sure that they meet the assessed care needs that an individual has".

However, he did say that "we have to radically change our system of care for the future...where everybody no matter what their income will get some help with their care and support".

Health secretary Andy Burnham is due to give a speech about the care "timebomb" which could face older people in Britain in the future.

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