UK Care Guide surveyed care homes, across the largest cities in the UK, to see whether the cost of living crisis was leading to an increase in care home fees.
Our research found that between February 2022 and February 2023, on average, care home fees had risen by over 11%.
The survey was in respect of care homes that take on privately funded residents and would typically be regarded as mid to premium-level homes. Each home surveyed had a minimum of 25 beds.
The percentage rise was different across different cities.
Increases in UK care home costs
The overchair table below shows the percentage increase in some of the largest cities in the UK.
Brighton has seen the largest increase, with annual costs rising 15%. This means the annual cost of the residential home is now over £45,000 (£45,657 to be exact).
Other cities that have seen significant increases include Nottingham and Leeds, which have both had 14% rises.
Within the data set, some care homes had individually increased their costs by over 30%. They said that they needed to do this to remain financially viable.
|Location||2022 Prices||2023 Prices||% increase||Annual Cost|
The data is based on a survey of care homes between December 2022 and February 2023. Each care home had a minimum of 25 beds. The costs provided are for those residents privately funding all their care.
We asked the homes about some of the reasons behind the increase. Responses we got included:
Many homes are struggling to recruit and retain staff. Many pay at the living wage level, and they are finding that people are leaving to take what are perceived as less stressful roles in retail and hospitality. Roles in these industries pay at either the same or higher levels.
Many homes also warned that care costs are likely to rise again substantially this year, as the living wage has gone up nearly 10% from April 2023. These costs will also likey be passed on to residents, which again might see similar increases next year to those we have identified for the past year.
In addition, recruitment into the industry remains a concern, and to attract more people, some homes feel that pay will need to increase further. This, in turn, could lead to further costs.
All homes have seen a significant increase in their food bills. As a result, homes have looked at ways to make meal times more efficient. In some cases, this has reduced the number of food options available to residents. This has helped cut down on waste.
Some homes also said they had partnered with other local care homes to see if they could bulk-buy food together to reduce the cost of food per resident.
Energy costs are a significant spend for all care homes. Despite the help provided by the government, energy costs are still substantial.
Care homes aim to maintain a temperature of around 20 degrees in communal and resident areas. Therefore, maintaining this has been costly.
Unfortunately, costs will likely increase further for those that might need a care home in the next few years.
The majority of homes that were surveyed said that they are likely to increase costs again this year.
For more information on the survey, please email us at [email protected]