FEES for dementia sufferers who require residential nursing care in Barnsley are set to be hiked for another year meaning that weekly costs will break the £800 barrier for the first time.

A rise of 10.5 per cent will be finalised at a meeting next week after Barnsley Council held discussions with the 29 providers who operate a total of 41 care homes in the town.

The Chronicle can reveal fees for caring for people will dementia will climb from £728 per week to £805 or £41,860 annually as a result of the hike.

Since 2022/23 when a 10.6 price hike was approved costs have climbed from £36,849 a year.

Standard fees for care will also rise from £679 to £751, meaning Barnsley’s costs are higher than neighbouring towns and cities.

A council report said: “The Care Act 2014 requires the councils to promote the efficient and effective operation of a market in services for meeting care and support needs, and in performing this duty, the council must have regard to ensuring the sustainability of the market.

“The council operates several models for determining the ‘cost of care’ annually and, therefore, the fee rate payable to care providers.

“The model and the calculated cost of care rate inform the consultation process with care providers.

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“This approach aims to assure all stakeholders, including care providers, that arrangements for determining fees and uplifts are transparent and robust and provide value for money.

“The approach allows for uplifts to be considered annually, considering changes in business costs providers face.

“There are currently 29 providers operating a total of 41 older people’s care homes operating across the borough, providing 1,786 beds.

“Our current forecast spend on residential and nursing care totals £28.416m.

“Barnsley’s care home association BICHP continue to lobby the council to offer a fee more aligned to the fair cost of care outcomes however this remains unaffordable until funding is made available to pay for this.

“As such, the council has now set out a 10.5 per cent increase in the fee rates for residential and nursing care.

“The agreed fee rate for 2024/25 reflects the increase in the national living wage and takes account of other cost pressures such as inflation and energy costs.”

Nursing staff will receive a £2 hourly wage increase as part of the plan, after providers expressed concerns about ‘high staff turnover’ and recruitment and retention levels.

The report added: “Barnsley will have a 34 per cent increase in its older population by 2040 and the demand for care and support will keep rising.

“We need to collaborate with care providers to create and improve a viable market for the future, using a variety of opportunities such as digital solutions, energy efficiency and support for the workforce to make sure the sector can attract and keep skilled and experienced staff.”