So what are we to make of the breaking news that care home operator Sunrise Senior Living is to refund the ‘up-front’ fees it charged residents? The Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) has secured the compensation for residents who paid the fees from October 2015 and who left the homes or died within 2 years. This compensation will cost the company more than £2m with the average pay out being around £3,000 per resident. There is so much that is wrong with the current social care market place. I personally find it outrageous that private payers pay far more than local authorities pay. It’s like a triple whammy. You’ve been unlucky

enough to require care; you’ve paid your taxes – but you are not eligible for state support; and now the indignity of having to pay substantially more than the council pays for the same care package. For my part too few politicians speak out about this. Of course such private payers would not have to subsidise the public provision if the public sector paid a fairer fees. Clearly much can be said to criticise the management decisions at Sunrise that led to the CMA’s intervention. Perhaps we should get CQC to insist on a ‘moral compass’ to be displayed in board rooms? Actually if we’re going to insist on that – lets have them displayed in Parliament and at every town hall in the country too.

9 May 2018 

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