Nottingham

Home care costs in Nottinghamshire could rise by 44%

Older person in silhouette
Image caption The county wants to increase care charges for those who can afford to pay

Weekly charges for care homes at Nottinghamshire County Council could increase by £200 under proposals unveiled by managers.

County officials said a means test will ensure that people who cannot afford to pay will not be charged.

The weekly charge for staying in a council-run care home would rise by 44% to £650.

Worksop resident John Hunt, whose parents are in a county home, said the council is failing elderly people.

Phased in

"They have no compassion or concern or care for anyone who they are supposed to represent. They only grab, grab, grab," he said.

"My dad is really upset. He is wondering where he is going to find the money to pay for it. He has had to sell his house to go in there."

The county council is proposing to save nearly £2m by increasing its charges for some social care services.

It needs to save £69m next year and a total of £150m by 2014, a spokesman said.

David Pearson, the county's director of adult social care and health, said the county does care about vulnerable adults who need help, but added that its services were being stretched.

The council said it would increase its charges starting next April.

"No-one wants to make life any tougher than it needs to be for our older, vulnerable people but nobody will be charged who's unable to pay, while the increases on meals and transport will be phased in over a number of years," said Councillor Kevin Rostance.

The council said the increased charges will only apply following a full financial assessment of an individual's income and savings - and about 1,600 individuals would pay nothing.

The hourly charge for care services would also increase from £12 to £12.50 per hour.

A final decision will be made at the full council budget meeting scheduled for February next year.

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