Pembrokeshire care homes fees row in judicial review

The money Pembrokeshire council pays care homes to look after residents is being challenged in the High Court.

Four homes are arguing in a judicial review they face closure unless fees are raised from £390 per resident per week to £480.

Eighty six people stay at Pen-coed in Saundersfoot, Langton Hall in Fishguard, Woodfield care home in Narberth and Woodland Lodge, in Tenby.

The council pays for half the residents and says their payments are set fairly.

Pembrokeshire council says other local authorities in Wales pay less to some care homes and says the financial problems with the four homes in the court case are nothing to do with how fees are set.

Care Forum Wales, which represents independent care providers, have been given positive reviews from the care homes regulator, Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW).

The judicial review is concentrating narrowly on the fees in Pembrokeshire but these are issues facing care homes and councils across Wales.

With purse strings tightening due to cut backs in public spending, change is happening in an area which deals with the most vulnerable people in society.

Before the hearing, Pembrokeshire council leader John Davies said that that if the local authority agreed to pay £500 per week to all homes in the county, it would increase the authority’s costs for residential and nursing home care by £2.25m.