Northumberland Council unable to sign new care contracts

Over half of Northumberland's care homes have not signed contracts with the county council in a row over money, the BBC has reported.

Thirty seven out of the 69 care homes in the region have refused to sign up with the authority, arguing it does not pay enough for them to provide good care and they cannot offer more places to residents funded by the council.

Currently elderly people with savings or property worth less than £23,250 can get help to pay for care, but the rates councils pay each week varies.

Statistics show that Newcastle Council pays £535 per resident per week to homes; Sunderland pays £529; and Northumberland £491 - although this figure is set to increase to £506.

Nursing homes in the areas have warned that there are rising costs in every department, however, because of the payment dispute with the authority, they are going to have to ‘take people out of the area or private paying people.’

Northumberland Council has argued it was facing increasing costs because of the rapid rise in the number or elderly people.