If care homes are charging £1k+ per week and carers are paid minimum wage, where is the money going?

Firstly, if there is a more appropriate board for this thread, please move it.

Secondly, I don't have first-hand experience in these matters, so I appreciate I'll be making a lot of sweeping generalisations BUT-


We've all heard the news - people having to sell their houses to pay for care, people being charged sometimes £1,500 per week to stay in a care home, etc

We've also all heard of carers being paid minimum wage, residents being served microwave meals in portion sizes not fit to satiate toddlers, homes being overcrowded, the list goes on.

Where is all the money going?

For £1,500 a week, I'd expect a personal butler in a presidential suite serving sirloin steak hand-cooked by Gordon Ramsey!

Googling this question seems to indicate that it's mainly due to staff wages, which doesn't appear true - I don't know any carers with Bentleys.

So what is it I'm missing? Is it the case that care homes are just massive profit-generating machines for wealthy individuals? Am I missing something?
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Comments

  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,994 Forumite
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    Where do you think the money comes from to pay the everyday bills for heating, lighting etc.?

      To redecorate when required to , to renew items that a worn or damaged., insurance etc.
  • JGB1955
    JGB1955 Posts: 3,464 Forumite
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    Employers National Insurance, Pension contributions, repayment of a commercial mortgage, support (admin) staff, equipment maintenance and replacement, laundry, licences, grounds maintenance, etc etc
    #2 Saving for Christmas 2024 - £1 a day challenge. £131 of £366
  • tooldle
    tooldle Posts: 1,513 Forumite
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    edited 8 September 2021 at 12:20PM
    My mum pays less than £5 per hour. For this she gets a roof over her head, food and drink, a luxurious room with her own facilities and 24 hour care. 
    in addition to the costs already mentioned above, vehicle costs (to run round and get bits and bobs, newspapers, sherry, take the residents on short trips etc), driver for said vehicle, entertainment costs including visiting entertainers, beach hut rental,  building maintenance, telephone, internet, alarm systems, training, insurance, professional registrations etc etc.
    There is a lot to it. Profit is necessary otherwise who would put themselves through it?
  • Building a care home/ buying and converting an existing building to accommodate dozens of residents costs millions. Staffing needs to be provided 24 / 7 - and with a higher number of staff required when providing care to those with complex medical needs and dementia. In addition staff are also required to cook, clean, do laundry and perform the copious administrative duties.

    Fortunately the only member of my family who has required to use a home did so in order to recuperate from open heart surgery. She had a large room of her own with an en suite bathroom and access to a lovely garden, a dining room, living room and tv room. Her meals were freshly cooked in the kitchen with several menus available daily and plentiful portions. She had assistance for both her personal and medical needs includes in the cost. That sort of living costs substantially more than a stay in a Premier Inn.
  • It is mainly to do with the number of staff per resident than their pay level and the fact that care is 24/7
  • Exodi
    Exodi Posts: 2,848 Forumite
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    edited 8 September 2021 at 12:58PM
    I'm not convinced on the overheads justification, as you don't see Premier Inn charging £1500 a week, yet they will have loosely similar overheads.

    Just posted on the BBC now (see below) - I think that care home probably needs to go on uswitch if overheads are the justification for charging £4,200 a week?






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  • Bradden
    Bradden Posts: 1,075 Forumite
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    edited 8 September 2021 at 1:02PM
    I asked a friend who manages a care home the same questions recently.. My understanding is that the paying residents subsidise those funded by the government as the money they psy is insufficent.
  • tooldle
    tooldle Posts: 1,513 Forumite
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    Bradden said:
    I asked a friend who manages a care home the same questions recently.. My understanding is that the paying residents subsidise those funded by the government as the money they psy is insufficent.
    This is certainly true to a degree in some cases.

  • Exodi said:
    I'm not convinced on the overheads justification, as you don't see Premier Inn charging £1500 a week, yet they will have loosely similar overheads.

    Just posted on the BBC now (see below) - I think that care home probably needs to go on uswitch if overheads are the justification for charging £4,200 a week?






    I strongly suspect that this is a typo and that the cost is £4,200 per month rather than per week. Costs don't even run that high for dementia care in a good care home in Beaconsfield - one of the most expensive towns in the country - it's around £7,500 per month, less than half the figure you've quoted.
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