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Care homes unable to adapt to changing needs and preferences run the risk of closing unless they have a strong private client base, says the Council.

"It concerns me thatelderly people may be frightened or anxious hearing what these few care home owners are implying, that they may not receive a reasonable level of care or worse, that their homes may be atrisk of closure, when that is not the case," says Stuart Barker.

In its detailed Equality Impact Assessment the Council says that care homes are paid at a level which enables them to meet the care and accommodation needs of individuals placed in their homes by the Council. And that their levels are correctly banded to reflect the differing levels of need.

They have lodged an appeal, saying that the Court's decision was flawed and failed to acknowledge how the Council already complies with its equality duty.

"Equality already runs 100 per cent through everything we do", says Stuart Barker.

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"We have conducted a thorough assessment of our fee level decision with regard to fairness and equality and concluded that the current banding structure and fee levels, set using a model that the High Court has fully supported, are fair and should remain unchanged," says Devon County Council's Cabinet Member responsible for adult social care, Cllr Stuart Barker.

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The gold plated assessment required by the Court has resulted in no change to the current fee structure or levels that gave an average 8.6 per cent increase to home owners.

it is high time a clear line was drawn in the sand to avoid a constant round of needless, costly and ultimately fruitless legal challenges."

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It concludes that current fee levels for 2012/13 are fair and sufficient to keep well run and efficient homes in business.

It will also claim the Judge was wrong in assuming that the Council hadn't given proper consideration to the costs of caring for people with dementia, and failed to ask forevidence of how the Council had done this.

However, the Council has also lodged an Appeal against the High Court ruling, in order to draw a line in the sand over future legal challenges and put a stop to "excessive, costly and unreasonable bureaucracy" surrounding the legal interpretation of the public sector equalities duty.

"Every decision we make with residents, their families and carers is individually assessed, and identifies their personal level of need. Our fee banding structure is set to reflect the costs of this individual care and accommodation. This is where every consideration is made with regard to equality.

Devon County Council has today published an extended impact assessment into its decision on care home fees for 2012/13, in response to a High Court ruling that it hadn't given sufficient consideration to equalities.

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And that in the last financial year, over the same period that care home owners say the Council's fees were too low, there has actually been more new care homes coming into the market, than closures.

"This year, when setting our fees, we also made 800,000 available to private care home owners to invest in their businesses to help them fund the changes needed to meet the growing demand for specialist residential care.

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"Expecting Councils to then add a further layer of bureaucracy, red tape and form filling in providing a gold plated equalities assessment for every single decision made is not only unnecessary but will cost Councils millions that could far better be spent on providing more care for vulnerable people.

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"There isan over supply of traditional residential care, and not enough provision of specialist residential care, for people with dementia for example," saysStuart Barker.

"I cannot believe that the Public Sector Equalities Duty was ever intended to be interpreted in this way and Nike Running Shoes For Women Grey And Pink

"That's why we are encouraging independent care home owners to change and increase their specialist provision.

to ensure the care needs of residents will continue to Nike Running Shoes Dark Blue

be fully met should a home choose to close for any reason.

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The Council points to the need for care homes to adapt to meet the changing levels of care being demanded.

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The assessment also says that robust plans have beenin place for some time Nike Shoes For Men Black

´╗┐The Exeter DailyReview concludes that care home fee levels for 2012

It also says that while care home providers indicate pressure on occupancy rates and therefore on their businesses profitability, 60 per cent of the care home market relates to privately funded placements, with only 40 Nike Shoes Men Casual per cent of care relating to people funded by the Council.

The Council's assessmentsays, by setting a significantly above the rate of inflation increase, it expects care homes to be in an enhanced position to maintain provision of services.

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