Debates between Lord Harries of Pentregarth and Lord Kamall during the 2019 Parliament

Care Homes: Energy Costs

Debate between Lord Harries of Pentregarth and Lord Kamall
Thursday 8th September 2022

(1 year, 9 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Harries of Pentregarth Portrait Lord Harries of Pentregarth
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To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the likely impact of increased energy costs on care homes; and what extra support they intend to provide in response.

Lord Kamall Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health and Social Care (Lord Kamall) (Con)
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The Government are committed to working with local authorities to help manage the pressures of inflation, for various reasons, on adult social care. We acknowledge the impact that challenges such as energy price rises will have on residential care providers and right across the system. As noble Lords will be aware, the Prime Minister has stated that a package of support for energy costs is her priority. Sadly, in terms of timing, we expect announcements shortly and will see how that feeds into the social care sector.

Lord Harries of Pentregarth Portrait Lord Harries of Pentregarth (CB)
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I thank the Minister for his reply. As he well knows, care homes are already under great financial pressure. In the six years up to 2020, more than 1,600 had to close—many of them rated good or very good—and the rise in energy costs is already absolutely staggering, from something like £660 per bed per year to over £5,000 per bed per year. Of course, some help will be offered this afternoon, but is the Minister confident that the Government have really taken on board the sheer scale and seriousness of this situation for care homes?

Lord Kamall Portrait Lord Kamall (Con)
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The noble and right reverend Lord makes a really important point about this issue and the impact on social care. What we are seeing right across government is the impact of this energy crisis: that is why the Prime Minister is making this announcement. We will then have to look into the details of how that affects the different sectors. We have heard from the social care sector, we have heard from care homes and we have heard from patients themselves about their concerns about the cost. I am afraid I cannot give more details at the moment. The Government are working very closely at the moment with local authorities and are in constant conversation about how we can help reduce the burden. Once we have more details of the package, we can look at that in more detail.