Valuing Care regularly features in the national, trade and local media, both print and broadcast. Our managing director, Ray Hart, is a well-respected expert on the cost of care, often approached for his specialist views and comments.

Here is a selection of media Valuing Care has worked with:

BBC Radio Healthcare Leader Community Care The Guardian High 50 Independent Age Mature Times Moneywise My Ageing Parent Nursing and Residential Care Older is Wiser Practice Business Daily Mail Sunday Times The Telegraph UK Authority Your Money HTN

The Telegraph - 18 June 2017 - Care crisis: this is why Britain’s care homes are charging the dead

Part of the CMA’s investigation focuses on the terms of contracts entered into when family members enter a care home. The watchdog is concerned that homes may be breaking the law by charging large upfront fees when it’s not clear what services they relate to. The inquiry is also looking at cases where care homes continue to collect fees after the person in care has died. In some instances homes are filling beds still being paid for by other families, it is alleged. Ray Hart of Valuing Care said the bigger issue was homes’ ability to raise charges by as much as they like. “There are cost pressure on them of course but basically these are open-ended contracts and each year they can raise the cost by as much as they like and they don’t give breakdowns explaining the increases.” Read the full article here

The Telegraph - 11 February 2017 - The real reason why the middle classes pay 194pc more for care

Middle-class families who have to pay for their own care are not merely subsidising council-funded residents but becoming the sole source of care homes’ profits. This means that previous calculations of the “self-funder tax” – the difference between fees paid by private residents and fees paid by councils – have been hugely underestimated. Ray Hart, a director from Valuing Care Ltd, said: “Everyone points to councils’ underfunding of care home places, but the reality is different. The profit motive of these businesses is working its way into the system as well.” Read the full article here

BBC Radio 4 - You and Yours - 20 March 2017

BBC Radio 4 - You and Yours - 28 October 2016

Ray Hart talks to Peter White about the need to review contracts for hidden clauses about payments to be made when rooms become vacant due to resident deaths Listen to the interview here

Healthcare Leader - 17 May 2017

Continuing Healthcare (CHC) packages demand significant amounts from healthcare budgets. Care for patients with complex needs could cost thousands of pounds per week, for many years, so working out a better deal on the prices quoted could create much-needed, sustainable savings. Yet NHS re-organisation has left some areas of CHC to drift, creating an opportunity for providers to inflate their prices, particularly for specialist placements. Price squeezes from other purchasers, such as councils, means that providers are looking more and more towards the health sector as a major source of profit. Read the full article here

HTN - 23 November 2016

The cultural change of using technology to purchase CHC placements: are we ready? Ray Hart, director at Valuing Care, discusses the cultural change of using technology to improve the purchasing process for CHC placements. He discusses the benefits, and explains why training is essential to its success. In most industries, for people in the workforce whose roles have purchasing responsibilities, there are processes in place, and access to data, to help decision making. This information is largely technology-based and helps the purchaser get the best price whilst still ensuring sustainable supply. In Continuing Healthcare (CHC), this isn’t always the case. Nurses and assessors for instance, commonly purchase CHC packages over the telephone or via face-to-face meetings without any pricing information to back those transactions. They are responsible for purchasing thousands of pounds worth of care, and yet often this task is completed without challenge to the prices providers quote, and without question on the breakdown of those costs. Read the full article here

The Telegraph - 18th January 2014

One 95 year-old nursing home resident has seen her fees rise 129pc, with barely any explanation Dr Edmondson (pictured) calculates that his aunt Eunice will have spent £600,000 on her care home fees over 13 years Read the full article here

The Telegraph - 8th May, 2013

Choosing a care home for a loved one can be an emotional experience, so the idea of having to do so twice is a worrying prospect. It is becoming more likely, though, as increasing numbers of residential homes find themselves in financial difficulty, putting them in danger of closing. Wilkins Kennedy, an accountancy firm that deals with insolvent companies, says the number of care homes that have gone bust has risen by 12pc in a year. The firm blames cuts at local authority level, which have left an increasing number of care home operators unable to service their debts. Sixty seven care home businesses failed in 2012, compared with just 28 in 2008.
Stephen Grant, a Wilkins Kennedy partner, says: “Many care homes used the boom years to borrow heavily to fund growth. But while the boom is over and occupancy levels are down in some homes, the debts remain. There are a large number of care homes that risk breaking banking covenants.”
As Michelle Mitchell, of Age UK says, “The future of many homes is threatened by an underfunded care system where local authorities are paying well below the market rate to owners, forcing them to cut corners.” Read more here

The Telegraph - 9th November 2013

The widening gap between the actual cost of providing a place in a care home and the fees charged to those who pay for themselves is clear in figures published by the Telegraph today. They show that on average those people who fund their own care – because they do not qualify for assistance from their local authority – pay on average 13pc above the “real cost” of providing their care, in England. The “real cost” figure, which is generated from in-depth research from Valuing Care into the constituent costs of providing food, accommodation and basic help, also includes a reasonable profit margin for the care home operator. The conclusion, highlighted in a separate report by charity Independent Age, also published this week, is that middle-class residents with modest property or other assets, who are thus forced to pay for their own care, are further subsidising those paid for by the public purse. Read the full article here

 

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