Our News

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

LocalGov – The Scrutiny of Foster Care Costs

The cost of fostering has been in the press recently as figures have been published stating that independent foster agencies (IFAs) are increasing the cost charged to local authorities for placing children with families.

According to one report the average weekly fee for council registered carers is £396, while it rises to a staggering £759 for IFAs; 92% higher. All of this embroiled against a backdrop of multi-million pounds dividends for investors and huge director salaries.

Such highly inflated fees give rise to one very important question; why aren’t foster care costs subject to the same level of scrutiny as other social care costs?

Ray Hart | 4th April 2018     Read More …

The Telegraph – Care Costs could decimate your assets

Care costs threaten to decimate the wealth that elderly people have spent their lives accumulating, but what are the options available to keep costs down?

The price of care has risen in recent years, thanks to a combination of short supply, care home operators struggling financially, and cuts to local authority budgets. An individual in need of nursing care can now expect to pay over £50,000 a year on average, if they have income and assets that exceed the £23,250 threshold above which care has to be self-funded.

According to healthcare research firm Lang & Buisson, the average fee for self-funded nursing care – which includes medical care from registered nurses – is £1,000 a week.

James Connington | 3 April 2018 | Subscription Required      Read More …

The Telegraph – How appalling upfront fees add up

‘I paid £11,000 for six weeks of care’: how ‘appalling’ upfront fees add up A Sunrise nursing home in Winchester; one Telegraph reader was charged £6,000 in entry fees by Sunrise Elderly residents at two of Britain’s biggest care home operators are being forced to pay “administration charges” of up to £6,000 – just for moving in.

The charges are ostensibly used to cover clinical costs ahead of a resident’s arrival, but industry insiders have described them as “appalling and unnecessary”. Barchester Healthcare and Care UK, which collectively have around 20,000 residents, both charge residents a fee equivalent to up to two weeks’ care before moving in.

Last year, the average cost of nursing care surpassed £1,000 a week for the first time. One Telegraph Money reader, who wished to remain anonymous, was charged £6,000 when her mother moved into a home operated by Sunrise Senior Living.

3 March 2018 | Subscription Required      Read More …

The Telegraph – ‘Care home charged £2,000 for nursing my mother – after she’d died’

Grieving families whose loved ones die in a care home are being charged after-death fees, often totalling several thousands of pounds.

The charges, which are ubiquitous across the industry, are ostensibly to cover lost income while rooms are cleared out and cleaned before another resident can move in.

10 February 2018 | Subscription Required     Read More …

The Telegraph – 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.”

18 June 2017 | Subscription Required    Read More …

How much should you be paying for residential care?

Ray Hart is interviewed by Radio 4 You and Yours.

Listen to it here | 20 March 2017

The Telegraph – 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.”

11 February 2017 | Subscription Required      Read More …

Healthcare Leader – Managing Continuing Health Care Spend

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.

17 May 2017 | Ray Hart    Read More …

Health Tech Newspaper – CHC Technology

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.

23 November 2016  Read More …

BBC Radio 4 – You and Yours | Hidden contract costs

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 it here | 28 October 2016

The Telegraph – Nursing home billed me £600,000 – for what?

Nursing home billed me £600,000 – for what?

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

18th January 2014 | Subscription Required       Read More …

50 Connect

A publication that is a trusted friend as people negotiate later life features Valuing Care in their care home check list.

Care home fees are a large financial commitment, here Ray Hart, creator of Valuing Care Fees Calculator, introduces the idea of challenging the prices quoted.

28th November 2013     Read More …

The Telegraph – Care home fees: The scandal of secret mark-ups

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.

9th November 2013 | Subscription Required       Read More …

Womens Thoughts

Choosing a care home for a relative: Where to begin

A website for women to ‘pop on to’ for ‘A Coffee Break Surf’, in search of useful or useless but interesting information or just to chat with like minded women. Valuing Care is featured in the publication, highlighting tips on how to choose the best care home to meet your personal needs.

30th September 2013    Read More …

50 Connect

A publication that is a trusted friend as people negotiate later life features Valuing Care in their care home check list.

As the Autumn and Winter months begin, the number of people searching for care home placements for their relatives increases dramatically.

Having made the tough step of recognising the need to relocate older parents or in-laws, knowing where to start and what to look for in a residential or nursing home can be a minefield.

16th September 2013     Read More …

Practice Business

Continuing Healthcare is a significant cost to CCGs across the country, but do CCGs know the underlying value for money and real cost of each placement?

Ray Hart, director at Valuing Care, shares his insight. The number of CHC placements to the NHS continues to rise with 62,000 people eligible for Continuing Health Care funding in 2015/16. The reasons for this increase are well known; primarily an ageing population with varying medical conditions requiring health intervention, and therefore funding for a variety of care packages.

This has also been compounded by an increased awareness of CHC funding, and a number of legal test cases over the last 20 years.

June 2016    Read More …

Local Government Information Unit

LGIU, a local democracy think tank, published a report into independent ageing.

This report assesses local authority support for older people making decisions about choosing and paying for care and support In this report the Valuing Care Fees Calculator is a recommended solution for Councils in supplying information and advice to their citizens. Further details of the report and their recommendation of our company can be found below.

15th July 2013     Read More …

Older is Wiser – Funding care from your own pocket?

Older is Wiser is the social networking site for grown ups.

It features 8 tips that could save you money on your long term costs. The online publication interviewed Ray Hart, the co-creator of the Valuing Care Fees Calculator to guide their readers, highlighting the key points that could save you money.

2nd September 2013    Read More …

Care Home Management Magazine Publication

The imminent Care Bill is set to bring changes for care home managers.

Ray Hart, Director Valuing Care, provides an insight as to how commissioners could be preparing, the stage they are at in their preparations and the implications this will have on care home pricing.

May/June 2014

Nursing and Residential Care Magazine Publication

Commissioners and the Care Bill:

The impact on care home pricing Ray Hart and Janet Roberts offer support and advice by giving one example of the most common issues raised when providers look to win public sector contracts.

July 2014    Read More …

About My Generation

Ray Hart, founding director of Valuing Care FM introduces the art of negotiation for care home fees.

For most expenses in life, we try to negotiate; who doesn’t like to get a good deal? Some people may be better at it than others, and yet we’ve all had a dabble at some stage or another, be it for a car, a house, or even a hotel room. We all want to receive value for money. Moving yourself or a loved one into a residential or nursing home is one of the largest financial decisions that people make in their lifetime. Few of us would accept the first quote received for a new car, and yet the majority of self-funders accept the first quote for a care home placement without question. Many purchases have an element of emotion attached, but probably no more so than when people are faced with choosing a care home for a loved one. It is a complex sea of emotions, which often arises at a time of crisis. Hence people make quick, panic decisions. After all, the last thing on people’s minds is whether a few pounds can be saved. In reality savings can amount to thousands of pounds.

At £500 per week, the average length of stay in a residential home would total £60,000. Even a £50 per week reduction could save £6,000 over the duration of the placement. So isn’t it time we started to explore the idea of negotiating care home fees, and leverage the negotiation skills we use for other purchases to this sector?

13th January 2014     Read More …

My Ageing Parent

Helping you!

Myageingparent- A website aimed at helping you to help them, whether it is your elderly parent, older friend or relative. Packed full of information, it is a proactive site, which helps you find the answers to all the questions you might have in this area.

The publication featured Valuing Care in an article examining how to ensure the solvency of your parent’s care home.

19th September 2013     Read More …

My Ageing Parent

Helping you!

myageingparent.com, a website aimed at helping you to help them, whether it is your elderly parent, older friend or relative, features the Valuing Care Fees Calculator today.

Hopefully this will add to their website which is full of information on options, local authority funding and how to keep them active, busy and healthy.

19th July 2013    Read More …

Mature Times

Mature Times, a newspaper and website is the online ‘voice’ of the 50+ generation.

The publication interviewed Ray Hart, the co-creator of the Valuing Care Fees Calculator to guide their readers through the key areas that affect care home prices for self funders

16th August 2013     Read More …

Mature Times

Mature Times, a newspaper and website is the online ‘voice’ of the 50+ generation.

The publication featured a topical article from Valuing Care FM on highlighting their top 6 tips for spotting a financially vulnerable care home.

13th August 2013     Read More …

Independant Age

Care Home Fees

Is the price you’ve been quoted reasonable? Shop around and if necessary, appoint a third party to negotiate fees for you. Valuing Care collates care cost data and helps clients – councils as well as individuals – negotiate care home fees. Valuing Care, the BBC ‘Care calculator’ (bbc.co.uk) and findmegoodcare.co.uk all offer online fees calculators to help you work out how much you are likely to pay in care home fees.

High 50

Tips for cost control

A global community for people over the age of 50 who believe the journey, in all its wonder, has only just begun features Valuing Care. The publication covers the topic: Your folks’ care home could set you back six figures – even with the proposed cap. Fees specialist Ray Hart has tips for cost control.

1st November 2013   

High 50

When establishments go broke, residents and families suffer. Fees specialist Ray Hart outlines how to reduce the risk.

Across the UK, there are weekly news reports of residents and their families campaigning to fight care home closures. But why is it happening so often? The usual reasons cited include falling demand (which is debatable, given an ageing population), increases in utility costs, failing to meet industry standards, or the simple fact that the books don’t add up.

7th October 2013    Read More …

Community Care

Why council tax rise will not be enough to fill care home shortfall.

Councils will be forced to ration the extra money they get from council tax between providers in response to the cost pressures on residential care, says Ray Hart.

As expected, chancellor George Osborne announced additional funding for social care in the Autumn Statement in the form of an additional levy of 2% on council tax that can only be used to fund adult social care. In addition there will also be an additional investment in the Better Care fund of £1.5bn by 2019-20. However this will be unlikely to provide additional direct resources to providers in meeting the cost of care.

1st December 2015   

Community Care

Councils risk driving good social care providers out of business and propping up bad ones by making blanket cuts to the fees they pay for services, a consultant has warned.

Less efficient services would be able to bear such cuts more easily than those that provide good value, said Ray Hart, commercial director at OLM Financial Management. OLM works for councils and primary care trusts to negotiate lower placement costs with providers by comparing their spending on overheads, such as property, insurance or electricity, against market averages.

Hart said 60% of more than 4,250 placements studied by OLM failed to offer value for money, but the rest offered commissioners a good deal. But he warned: “Certainly, every council is [at most] freezing fees for next year. Some are doing less than that. That’s a mistake. This could drive value-for-money providers out of the market.”

4th February 2011   

Community Care

The Care Act 2014 places new responsibilities on local authorities to act on behalf of people who are expected to self-fund their own care – a group historically neglected by councils.

From April 2015, councils will come under a duty to provide information and advice to people in their areas to enable them to plan for their care and support, including in relation to how they can benefit from independent financial advice. A year later, the cap on care costs will come into force, enabling self-funders to receive state-funded care and support after accruing a certain level of cost, as measured by what the local authority would have spent on meeting their needs, calculated through regular assessments.

At the same time, in April 2016, councils will come under a duty to arrange residential care for people who are not eligible for any financial support from their authority but ask the council to make arrangements for them. This duty comes into force a year earlier – in April 2015 – for non-residential care, though its biggest impact will be in the residential sector.

9th December 2014    

The Guardian

People who self-fund their social care need more help from Councils.

The Care Act puts a responsibility on Councils to help self funders micro-commission care. Ray Hart from Valuing Care explains more read more The Care Act puts a responsibility on Councils to help self funders micro-commission care. Ray Hart from Valuing Care explains

November 2014     Read More …

The Guardian

What happens when councils want to cut the cost of residential social care?

The Guardian features a report on the MyCareCosts service and the savings achieved through the reviewing of care packages, The report is under the company’s original name of OLM Financial Management.

2nd February 2011     Read More …

Your Money

Your Money, launched in 1996, one of the first websites ever to address the personal finance needs of UK consumers, highlights the Valuing Care Fees Calculator in its weekly round up.

“Valuing Care FM has launched a new website and app, the first of its kind; Valuing Care Fees Calculator. The app is aimed at those seeking private care home places, the free calculator assesses whether the quoted fee received from the provider is value for money”

26th July 2013

Your Money

Ten top tips for negotiating lower care home fees

Care home fees can often be sky-high. Follow our tips on ways to negotiate the price down..

Your Money, launched in 1996, one of the first websites ever to address the personal finance needs of UK consumers, highlights the Valuing Care Fees Calculator within it’s ten top tips for negotiating lower care home fees.

26th July 2013     Read More …

Moneywise

Why do we get no help with care fees?

Ask the experts

The article found using the link below was written in response to a reader’s question

15th May 2015    Read More …

Moneywise

Plan ahead to pay for care home fees.

Long term care can cost £30,000 per year or more – Check to see whether you qualify for financial help and what to do if you don’t ……..

March 2015     Read More …

The Sunday Times

Paying an elderly relative’s care home fees this year could cost more than sending a child to Eton College.

For the first time, the crippling cost of a private boarding schools education is set to be trumped by the even more painful cost of residential nursing care, with bills for the latter set to rise by up to 10%. The sharp rise in fees is being fuelled by the introduction of the national living wage, as well as new rules that require bosses to pay into a pension for their workers.

In April the national living wage of £7.20 an hour will come into force for workers aged 25 and above. At present, the average UK care home, including nursing, cost £676 a week, according to Symponia, the care home advice experts. This means the annual bill is £33,152 just below the cost of a year’s fees (£35,721) at the ……

24th January 2016     Read More …

BBC Radio 5 – Live Daily

Ray Hart is interviewed by Adrian Chiles.

Extract 1 – Criteria for the council funding a care home service

Listen to it below | 23rd February 2016

BBC Radio 4 – You & Yours

Ray Hart, Director at Valuing Care, is interviewed by Winifred Robinson.

Care home fees for people funding themselves could rise by between six and ten percent by the time the new national living wage comes into force in April, according to industry watchers. We hear from…

Listen to it below | 25th January 2016

Building Better Healthcare

Ray Hart, director at Valuing Care, explains why it is now time to step up CHC purchasing processes and ditch the burdensome methods that commissioners have battled with for years.

As the NHS keeps having to find efficiencies, while also trying to identify new and better ways of working, many processes within healthcare have been examined to see what improvements can be made and what steps are needed to get them into better shape.

The cost of purchasing and managing Continuing Healthcare (CHC) placements is one of the few areas that has unfortunately been somewhat overlooked and overshadowed in favour of other procurement areas. And yet the purchasing process currently in place is long overdue an upgrade.

22nd September 2016    

The MJ

Many councils are yet to prepare and there are areas that must be given priority; key aspects that need to be administered to support implementation of the Care Act.

The Act introduces new duties and obligations on local authorities in terms of those who pay for their own care, and as such there is a requirement to implement ambitious changes. Regardless of whether people are local authority funded or responsible for paying for their own care costs, good quality information and advice must be available to everyone to help them make the right choices. Already there are implications on local government and councils need to get started now as from April 2015 there are important changes to be met and achievements made.

The tasks for councils now is to review existing advice and information services, and be in a position where they can provide good quality, comprehensive information for people on how to fund their own care , and support and direct them to independent financial advice.

28th November 2014    

HTN

Valuing Care has launched a new online ‘Continuing Healthcare (CHC) Cost Toolkit’ to help commissioners manage and purchase better, more cost-effective CHC placements.

This online system enables CHC placements to be commissioned in the most cost effective manner. Based on Valuing Care’s cost models and data built up from 10 years of collecting care provider costs, the evidence-based approach of the ‘CHC Cost Toolkit’ includes: 1) Cloud based infrastructure to enable nurses and commissioners to complete and access the same patient’ calculations 2) Web access to allow usage whilst undertaking negotiations with providers 3) A clear audit trail of purchasing calculations and decisions made 4) Ability to tailor any national cost drivers to a more local level to deal with issues such as carer shortages.

The ability to build up local data to benchmark and compare provider margins Screen shot of quote screen from Valuing Care’s CHC systemWith total spend on CHC across the country reported at £2.5 billion per annum, and as the number of CHC placements continue to rise, the ‘CHC Cost Toolkit’ provides a significant breakthrough for the market and enables commissioners to conduct informed negotiations and get their purchasing into better shape. Ray Hart, managing director at Valuing Care said, “The cost of purchasing and managing CHC placements is a complex area that has been overlooked in recent years. This has hampered the progress so desperately required to control costs; prices have continued to rise and yet costs have not been scrutinised. Our ‘CHC Cost Toolkit’ overcomes the inefficiencies that commissioners face with current systems and helps improve visibility, management and control of costs.” By providing access to comprehensive market intelligence, the ‘CHC Costing Toolkit’ enables commissioners to gain a better understanding of costs, and be more price aware, which helps secure value for money care placements. It also enables placements to be processed much quicker; reducing the amount of time commissioners spend on paperwork and enabling staff to reallocate their time.

October, 2016     Read More …

Daily Mail

Care crisis!

The cost of a room in a care home, presently about £750 a week, will be £1,000 a week by 2020, experts warn The firms running care homes will try to plug the gap by raising fees, experts say. Valuing Care, a respected care fees analyst, predicts they will rise 8 per cent a year ‘for the next decade’. That would mean the average fee reaching £1,020 a week by 2020, or £53,040 a year and that accounts only for a place in a residential care home. Fees for elderly people needing specialist medical care may be even higher than that.

Most people will have to pay this themselves as local authorities currently cover your care bills only if you have less than £23,250 in savings, investments, properties and other assets (£26,250 in Scotland and £24,000 in Wales).

18th October 2016     Read More …

Daily Mail

This is Money the popular finance arm of the Daily Mail features Valuing Care on how to negotiate care home fee rates.

Many people who move into residential homes do so at a time of great stress, often following a period of illness. Usually, they don’t think to scrutinise the price charged by their chosen home until it’s too late – but even a discount of £50 a week can save thousands in the long-term. Ray Hart, creator of the Valuing Care Fees Calculator, talks This is Money through the best ways to negotiate costs.

16th October 2013    

Healthcare Leader

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.

17 May 2017     Read More …

HTN

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.

23 November 2016     Read More …
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