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:
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 that families enter 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.
But Ray Hart of Valuing Care, a consultancy that negotiates fees on behalf of councils and individuals, said the bigger issue was homes’ ability to raise charges by as much as they like.
He said: “The biggest problem is the fact that homes have the ability to increase fees by what they call ‘reasonable costs’ no matter what.
“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.”
Average weekly self-funded fees for residential care homes with nursing care are now more than £1,000 for the first time, a report by analyst LaingBuisson found last month. The figure is £700 a week for self-payers in homes without nursing care and just £486 for state-funded residents.
Care homes in parts of the country where there are fewer self-funders, such as northern England, are under most pressure, said Mr Hart. “The market is more stretched than at any point in my 20 years of working in the care industry, especially where there are no self-funders,” he said.
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.”
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.
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
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).
New Continuing Healthcare online system enables more cost-effective purchasing
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:
Cloud based infrastructure to enable nurses and commissioners to complete and access the same patient’ calculations
Web access to allow usage whilst undertaking negotiations with providers
A clear audit trail of purchasing calculations and decisions made
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
With 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.
Screen shot of quote screen from Valuing Care’s CHC system
New Continuing Health Care System from Valuing Care Enables More Cost Effective Purchasing
Valuing Care, the market leader in analysing and negotiating value for money costs for care packages, has today launched a new online ‘Continuing Healthcare (CHC) Cost Toolkit’ to help commissioners manage and purchase better, more cost-effective CHC placements.
This online system, the first of its kind, enables CHC placements to be commissioned in the most cost effective manner.
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.
Ray Hart, Director at Valuing Care, is interviewed by Winifred Robinson
…Carehomefees 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…
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. [/twocol_one_last]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 ……Read the full article
Article by Ray Hart
Why Council tax rise will not be enought to fill care home short fall ….
Ray Hart, managing director at Valuing Care, is a care fees specialist. He helps people who pay for their own care home costs save thousands of pounds. Here Ray explains the art of negotiating care home fees, and shares his top ten tips to help you save money.
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 (01273 757 233, valuingcarefm.com) 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.
Ray Hart, founding director of Valuing Care FM introduces the art of negotiation for care home fees.
Click here… to take a look at the exclusive AMG offer on Care Home Fees Negotiation by Valuing Care
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?
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
The Guardian – Publication November 2014
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
Nursing and Residential Care Magazine Publication July 2014
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 read more
Care Home Management Magazine Publication May/June 2014
The Care Bill – How commissioners are preparing …..
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 ... read more
Daily Telegraph-“I cut Mum’s care home fees by £15,000 a year”-Saturday 12th April, 2014
A Telegraph reader challenged her mother’s care home and it agreed to cut it’s fees by £289 per week with the help of Valuing Care
Sue Stressing (pictured) challenged the fees levels of the home for her relative, Mrs Willet, after they increased from £785 per week to £935 per week since 2011. Read the full article:
Valuing Care and Tendering For Care announce partnership – Monday 24th February, 2014
Two specialist companies have teamed up to provide a fully comprehensive service for health and social care providers. Tendering for Care (TfC) and Valuing Care are delighted to announce they have formed a strategic partnership which is designed to offer a fully comprehensive training and support service for all aspects of tendering and procurement across both sectors. Read More
Daily Telegraph – “Nursing Home billed me £600,000 – For what?” – Saturday 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
Daily Telegraph – Care home fees: the scandal of secret mark-ups -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 Telegraphtoday.
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, arefurther subsidising those paid for by the public purse.
Daily Mail – How can I pay for my care home fees? Making the best decision for the long-term financially and emotionally – 9th January 2014
ThisisMoney the popular finance arm of the Daily Mail features Valuing Care on how to negotiate care home fee rates.
Care home costs can potentially run into the hundreds of thousands of pounds, putting a huge amount of pressure on families, usually at a time of illness or stress. But before you or a loved one makes the move into a residential or nursing home, there are a number of things you need to know to make sure you are making the best decision for the long-term, both financially and emotionally.
Your Money Highlights the Valuing Care Fees Calculator in its Product Launches of the Week – 26th July 2013
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. Please see the full article by following the link below
h1>BBC Radio Essex interview with Ray Hart 27-11-2013
Dave Monk hosts the weekday morning between 9am and noon for an in-depth look at the stories making the news in Essex. Above is a clip of an interview with Ray Hart from Valuing Care where Dave asks the question: Why can’t we negotiate the rates we pay care homes?
High50 – Parent’s Care Costs: How to Stay Afloat – 1st November 2013
High 50 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
Daily Mail – Worried about care home fees? How negotiating could cut costs and save thousands – 16th October 2013
ThisisMoney 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.
Womens Thoughts – Choosing a Care Home for a Relative: Where to Begin – 30th September 2013
Womens Thoughts – 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:
Myageingparent – Ensure Solvency of Parent’s Care Home – 19th September 2013
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:
50 Connect – Relocating Loved Ones? Key Care Home Check List – 16th September 2013
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.
High50 – Age Power: cut a deal on your parents care – 13th September 2013
High 50 A global community for people over the age of 50 who believe the journey, in all its wonder, has only just begun features Ray Hart from Valuing Care. The publication asked the question:
For most of life’s expenses, we try to negotiate; who doesn’t like to get a good deal? Some people may be better at it than others, but we’ve all had a dabble at some stage or other – be it for a car, a house or even a hotel room. We all want to receive value for money…… Well, why not care?
Older is Wiser -Funding Care From Your Own Pocket? – 2nd September 2013
Older is Wiser, the social networking site for grown ups, 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.
Mature Times – Residential or Nursing? The Costs to Consider – 16th August 2013
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.
Mature Times – Top Tips for Selecting a Financially Safe Home – 13th August 2013
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.
Your Money Highlights the Valuing Care Fees Calculator in its Product Launches of the Week – 26th July 2013
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”
My Ageing Parent Features Valuing Care Fees Calculator – 19th July 2013
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.
Local Government Information Unit Recommends Valuing Care Fees Calculator – 15th July 2013
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 on the link below (page 34)
Choosing a residential 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.