Derby

Derbyshire County Council expects to pay out £8m to care homes in dispute

A three-year legal battle over how much a council should pay to care homes could be settled with an £8m payment.

Derbyshire County Council has been in a dispute with the county's private care homes since 2011 over the amount it pays for each resident.

The authority said a backdated settlement had now be proposed and was due to be signed off in September.

The Derbyshire Care Providers Association said the argument had gone on too long.

The association, which represents care homes, threatened to seek a judicial review in 2011 in its dispute with the council.

The care providers had increased their fees, but the previous Conservative-controlled council did not pay the increase.

'Shameful administration'

The new Labour-controlled council's cabinet member for adult care, Clare Neill, said it had taken time to discuss details with lawyers and the care homes, but a proposal had now been put forward.

"This is something we inherited from the previous administration and we needed to get it sorted," she said.

"We have £8m in reserve. We knew it was coming and we have that money in the bank.

"We are just getting ready to hand over the cheques."

Derbyshire County Council said it believed £8m to be "a fair and reasonable figure" and it hoped care providers would find it acceptable.

Brian Rosenberg, chairman of the Derbyshire Care Providers Association, said the delay in payment had made things difficult for care homes.

He said: "This has been dragging on for years and it is shameful of the previous administration at the council to have allowed this to have happened.

"I don't think the quality of care has been affected but clearly we could do a lot better if we were funded appropriately."

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