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  1. #1
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    Funded Nursing Care ...

    Have only just found out that Mum's nursing home treat this as a bit of a guaranteed income stream and retain it, rather than use it to offset the weekly fee. Mum is self funding and pays £675 weekly. So with the FNC this amounts to £831.25.

    I appreciate that some nursing homes will have higher weekly charges particularly in the south east.

    Am I alone in thinking that the whole sector is just 'weighted' in favour of the owners?? The charges are astronomical, the actual carers are all on minimum wage. Where Mum is they don't even get any extra for Christmas day. The good care assistants tend to get experience and NVQs then go to the NHS which pays better, and offers a pension according to one of the nurses in Mum's home.The service users are like some sort of cash cow for the owners particularly the large care groups many of which have registered offices in places like the Isle of Man presumably for tax purposes. They appear to operate like a cartel, none really publish their charges online.

    This is all so unfair. Bad enough that people get dementia in the first place. The double whammy is then having to pay for the huge cost of that care going forward.

    Why don't CQC inspect how settings charge service users and rate them for value for money, and also how the FNC is used. Our loved ones have contributed to the NHS and overall don't get their money's worth compared to others.
    I believe that following the GE the issue of social care/dementia care has been kicked into the long grass again.
    Sorry if this reads as cynical, but it's how I feel having just had a bill for over £19,000 for Mum's care for the past six months. The delay in billing not down to me but to the management at the home. I have brought this to their attention some time ago. So I'm still reeling from the shock. At this rate the proceeds of the sale of Mums home, her only asset, aren't going to last long.
    Last edited by Chemmy; 12-08-2017 at 08:17 PM. Reason: New thread created

  2. #2
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    I got a shock this evening when I took my mum back to her care home. One of the newish careworkers told me she has to buy her uniform tunics at £50 for two) and she had to pay DBS check herself. I am sure she told me this was £90.

    I think this is truly shocking as the care home pay minimum wage yet charge residents who self fund nearly £700 a week.

    I was even more shocked when I went to collect Mums tea tray to take to her room and she had 4 triangle sandwiches and half a cup of tea! Bear in mind that she has needed no care or food all day as she has been with me since 10am. I expressed surprise that that was all she was getting and said "don't you have a piece of cake or a yoghourt". But they had neither but found her 3 of the plainest, cheapest biscuits you ever saw.

    I think more stringent checks should be made on care homes to ensure people are getting value for money.

  3. #3
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    The home my mother is in offer sandwiches for lunch and tea, there is a cooked meal option too, unfortunately my mom will always choose the sandwich, so her food bill isn't very high at all. She lost 5kg in weight in the first few weeks, and went down to 39kg, after voicing concern regarding her weight they have started to make an effort to encourage her to eat more and she is now 42kg.

    The home seems very friendly and the staff all seem happy but they are often short staffed so obviously people must be leaving, I don't know what the wages are but recently the admin staff have been helping to serve meals.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldDog99 View Post
    The home my mother is in offer sandwiches for lunch and tea, there is a cooked meal option too, unfortunately my mom will always choose the sandwich, so her food bill isn't very high at all. She lost 5kg in weight in the first few weeks, and went down to 39kg, after voicing concern regarding her weight they have started to make an effort to encourage her to eat more and she is now 42kg.

    The home seems very friendly and the staff all seem happy but they are often short staffed so obviously people must be leaving, I don't know what the wages are but recently the admin staff have been helping to serve meals.
    At Mums home the lunchtime meals look good if the cook is there. She only works certain days and when she's not there the carers come up with something but it's usually something frozen - like oven chips and frozen fish. The cooks meals are what I call "proper food" cooked from scratch.

    My mum loves her food and was a cook herself so often she is not happy with what she gets. Desserts are always either ice cream, cold tinned fruit or yoghourt and she craves stuff like hot rice pudding, semolina or a fruit pie with custard. They could buy a big catering tin of creamed rice and just heat it up but they seemingly can't be bothered.

    She is supposed to have a portion of fresh fruit every day because of a health condition she has and they know this but very often she doesnt. When I queried this they said I could take in fresh fruit myself but I'm sorry but for £700 a week if they can't give her one banana a day, it's a poor effort.

    Afternoon tea is either one small sausage roll, a round of sandwiches, a small piece of cake and a cup of tea. Sometimes they don't get cake.

  5. #5
    Registered User Saffie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowWhite View Post
    At Mums home the lunchtime meals look good if the cook is there. She only works certain days and when she's not there the carers come up with something but it's usually something frozen - like oven chips and frozen fish. The cooks meals are what I call "proper food" cooked from scratch.

    My mum loves her food and was a cook herself so often she is not happy with what she gets. Desserts are always either ice cream, cold tinned fruit or yoghourt and she craves stuff like hot rice pudding, semolina or a fruit pie with custard. They could buy a big catering tin of creamed rice and just heat it up but they seemingly can't be bothered.

    She is supposed to have a portion of fresh fruit every day because of a health condition she has and they know this but very often she doesnt. When I queried this they said I could take in fresh fruit myself but I'm sorry but for £700 a week if they can't give her one banana a day, it's a poor effort.

    Afternoon tea is either one small sausage roll, a round of sandwiches, a small piece of cake and a cup of tea. Sometimes they don't get cake.
    So is this afternoon tea you are talking about or the evening meal? For afternoon tea my husband's home only gave a couple of biscuits around 3pm but had their evening meal around 5 - 6. On a Sunday that would be sandwiches as the cook went home at lunchtime.
    In his home there were 4 wings, each of 20 rooms so 80 in total, one residential but 3 nursing.
    Last edited by Saffie; 13-08-2017 at 11:15 AM.
    "Sometimes you will never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory.” Dr. Seuss

  6. #6
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    A good friend of ours is a manager at a local care home. She is a hands-on manager and works stupid amounts of hours (without overtime pay, as she's the manager), often having to cover when staff are either off sick or fail to turn up (she doesn't tolerate the latter so they usually don't last long). She often goes in to do the cooking and makes sure all her residents are well catered for.

    Her biggest struggle is finding and keeping good staff and given the low wages, it isn't surprising. Her own salary is pretty poor too, especially considering the hours she puts in but she is of the "old school" caring professional type.

  7. #7
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    Hubby and I have been looking at and visiting CH in our region (East Anglia) Are you ready for the weekly charge....

    £950.00 per week Then you have to discuss if they will take LA funding as MIL will be self funding till her money runs out. Not all take it and some still expect a "top up fee"

    Ouch!

  8. #8
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    Golly! The food in my husband's Nursing Home was excellent, and plentiful. The lunch was always two courses followed by tea/coffee. Afternoons, a trolley was brought around with soup and/or tea/coffee and biscuits. Tea was varied. Sometimes sandwiches, sometimes something cooked. They had full time kitchen staff, and everything was cooked in their kitchens. And the cook sought me out as William's appetite declined, to ask if I could think of anything at all they could get that he might eat more of. I mentioned a particular type of ice-cream that was his favourite, but it was only available in one Supermarket. That wasn't a problem - they got it for him. They made tiny, finger sandwiches with scrambled eggs, and cut the crusts off for him, because they felt that the sight of anything larger overwhelmed him, so he didn't even try to eat it. The residents dining room was laid out like a fine restaurant, and on Sundays, those that could, had a choice of red or white wine with their meal.

    That shouldn't be out of the ordinary. Maybe the difference is that this Home is not owned by a Chain.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saffie View Post
    So is this afternoon tea you are talking about or the evening meal? For afternoon tea my husband's home only gave a couple of biscuits around 3pm but had their evening meal around 5 - 6. On a Sunday that would be sandwiches as the cook went home at lunchtime.
    In his home there were 4 wings, each of 20 rooms so 80 in total, one residential but 3 nursing.
    This is the evening Meal. One cooked meal a day and that's lunchtime. Hot first course and cold dessert. Very occasionally at teatime she has had something like spaghetti hoops on toast rather than a sandwich.

    I know a woman who used to be the cook there. She says it used to annoy her because they had frozen everything delivered yet a couple of hundred yards down the road is a lovely farm stall which is very reasonable - with all local eggs, veg, salad stuff, fruit, even their own chicken and bacon.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyA View Post
    Golly! The food in my husband's Nursing Home was excellent, and plentiful. The lunch was always two courses followed by tea/coffee. Afternoons, a trolley was brought around with soup and/or tea/coffee and biscuits. Tea was varied. Sometimes sandwiches, sometimes something cooked. They had full time kitchen staff, and everything was cooked in their kitchens. And the cook sought me out as William's appetite declined, to ask if I could think of anything at all they could get that he might eat more of. I mentioned a particular type of ice-cream that was his favourite, but it was only available in one Supermarket. That wasn't a problem - they got it for him. They made tiny, finger sandwiches with scrambled eggs, and cut the crusts off for him, because they felt that the sight of anything larger overwhelmed him, so he didn't even try to eat it. The residents dining room was laid out like a fine restaurant, and on Sundays, those that could, had a choice of red or white wine with their meal.

    That shouldn't be out of the ordinary. Maybe the difference is that this Home is not owned by a Chain.
    That sounds lovely and just how it should be. Last year my mum went into a council run home for a weeks respite and they had lovely food there with very generous portions.

    My Late Dad used to work for a retired Army colonel and when he went into a care home he ate like a sparrow but still knew what he fancied. He was paying a massive amount to live there and my Dad used to go and buy him what he fancied like kiwi fruit, mango and thick, creamy yoghourts. He did this because the home gave the colonel stuff like meat pie and chips which he couldn't stomach at all. They were totally inflexible.

  11. #11
    Registered User Saffie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mimi5 View Post
    Hubby and I have been looking at and visiting CH in our region (East Anglia) Are you ready for the weekly charge....

    £950.00 per week Then you have to discuss if they will take LA funding as MIL will be self funding till her money runs out. Not all take it and some still expect a "top up fee"

    Ouch!
    Nursing homes are around £1,000 a week hereabouts - or rather they were 6 years ago when I was looking for my husband so are probably a lot more now. When I asked about the Nursing allowance I was always told it was already accounted for!
    "Sometimes you will never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory.” Dr. Seuss

  12. #12
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    I worked in a residential home for 10 years as a cook, most of the food was cooked from scratch.
    Choice of cereals on the morning (Cooked breakfasts available at the weekend)

    There was always a choice of two menus for a two course hot lunch like roast lamb, chicken curry, gammon and parsley sauce but we always would cook something else for the residents if they didn't like what was on the menu.
    A choice of two puddings but one would be something hot like apple pie, steamed syrup sponge with custard

    Fresh cakes were made every day for their afternoon snack.

    Evening was a smaller meal of soup, sandwiches cheese and biscuits, a hot choice like jacket potatoes, fried egg on toast or bubble and squeak.
    Always yogurts a good choice of other snacks available as well.

    Around 13 years ago I went to work in a brand new EMI home owned by a large company, here I had to work to a very tight budget of £2.25 per resident per day, every little bit of food and drink had to be in this budget and although the residents had plenty to eat I had to order in the very cheapest of foods to keep within the budget, I didn't feel I was able to give good meals on this amount of money and I also didn't like how some of the care staff treated the residents so I left this place after just a few weeks.

    I don't know why but for some reason the cooks were paid a bit better than the domestics and care staff who were only paid the minimum wage in both of these homes but I did often wonder where all the money goes to considering how much they charged each resident
    Last edited by Daisy pie; 13-08-2017 at 09:46 PM.

  13. #13
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    Where Mum is there is no choice of food. It is a small nursing home, most of the residents are like Mum quite advanced dementia. There is no choice of food - most residents eat soft/pureed food. Mum eats all of it. It lacks variety, not much in the way of fresh fruit, so I take fruit in for her. Don't think it takes a huge portion of the budget.

    But as others have pointed out here it is the fees that I wanted to discuss, and the fact that nursing homes more than often take the FNC into account and use it as a guaranteed top up - surprised they don't ask for Mum's AA as well, or have they already factored this into their charges, plus the state pension.

    1. As other TPers on this thread have pointed out, minimal or no investment in their care staff who have to pay for their own DBS and uniforms. The finance manager assured me that they were having to pay the 'living wage' hence a 5% increase in their charges on April 1st this year. The nursing staff have been trained by the NHS I imagine. Their salaries obviously higher - even though their interventions with residents are minimal and mainly administering meds from my observation, at other times they are in the office.
    2. Meds and inco pads free for most residents I imagine and paid for by the NHS.
    3. Utility bills admittedly probably very high.
    4. Mum pays separately for hairdressing and chiropody.
    5. They apparently include in the fee trips out - there have been none this summer.
    6.There has to be plenty of profit - the owner often visits Head Office, on the same site as Mum's NH in his Ferrari, and other family members involved in the business, come to work in their Range Rovers with personal number plates, taking up valuable parking space, and IMO quite insensitively flaunting their affluence to their poorly paid care staff and relatives of their 'service users' - God I hate that term!! During Royal Ascot week there was spare capacity for parking - apparently the family had decamped to Ascot for the week.
    7. I don't think that we should accept that £1,000 weekly, give or take for regional variations, should be the new normal for NH fees. It isn't a 'dementia tax' it is a 'health care tax'.
    8. There is no watchdog for care fees - I think CQC should step up and scrutinise this aspect of the sector.
    9. Insult to injury - when I was looking after Mum full time, CA was about £60pw, what is the hourly rate for that 24/7.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong!! Rant over.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coulddobetter View Post
    Where Mum is there is no choice of food. It is a small nursing home, most of the residents are like Mum quite advanced dementia. There is no choice of food - most residents eat soft/pureed food. Mum eats all of it. It lacks variety, not much in the way of fresh fruit, so I take fruit in for her. Don't think it takes a huge portion of the budget.

    But as others have pointed out here it is the fees that I wanted to discuss, and the fact that nursing homes more than often take the FNC into account and use it as a guaranteed top up - surprised they don't ask for Mum's AA as well, or have they already factored this into their charges, plus the state pension.

    1. As other TPers on this thread have pointed out, minimal or no investment in their care staff who have to pay for their own DBS and uniforms. The finance manager assured me that they were having to pay the 'living wage' hence a 5% increase in their charges on April 1st this year. The nursing staff have been trained by the NHS I imagine. Their salaries obviously higher - even though their interventions with residents are minimal and mainly administering meds from my observation, at other times they are in the office.
    2. Meds and inco pads free for most residents I imagine and paid for by the NHS.
    3. Utility bills admittedly probably very high.
    4. Mum pays separately for hairdressing and chiropody.
    5. They apparently include in the fee trips out - there have been none this summer.
    6.There has to be plenty of profit - the owner often visits Head Office, on the same site as Mum's NH in his Ferrari, and other family members involved in the business, come to work in their Range Rovers with personal number plates, taking up valuable parking space, and IMO quite insensitively flaunting their affluence to their poorly paid care staff and relatives of their 'service users' - God I hate that term!! During Royal Ascot week there was spare capacity for parking - apparently the family had decamped to Ascot for the week.
    7. I don't think that we should accept that £1,000 weekly, give or take for regional variations, should be the new normal for NH fees. It isn't a 'dementia tax' it is a 'health care tax'.
    8. There is no watchdog for care fees - I think CQC should step up and scrutinise this aspect of the sector.
    9. Insult to injury - when I was looking after Mum full time, CA was about £60pw, what is the hourly rate for that 24/7.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong!! Rant over.
    I agree with you and many others Couldobetter that care home fees are too high.

    What I can't understand is why I read about care homes closing down/increasingly likely to close down because they are not making sufficient profit.
    See my blog at: http://adventureswithdementia.blogspot.co.uk

    There is no 'they': Everyone is different.

  15. #15
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    I think the bigger groups are raking it in -economies of scale, use of tax havens as registered offices, tax avoidance??? etc etc


    Smaller, stand alone homes are going to the wall largely I think because of delays in getting their funding and because of the nature of their funding. As we all know if dependent on LAs to fund their residents then the income is smaller as they won't pay above a certain rate. LAs are cutting back on staff, less funding from central government. increase demand for social care, backlog of payments to process so cash flow problems for the smaller settings. IMO

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