CONCERNS have been raised that some care home providers are not passing on a rise in state allowances to elderly fee payers.

The Scottish Government announced in January it was to fast-track a seven-and-a-half per cent increase in free personal care and nursing contributions by April 1.

Alzheimer Scotland welcomed the rise, which is the highest for a number of years, and said it was a positive first step in recognising that the current level of contributions given to self-funders ‘bears no relationship” to the cost of care for those with advanced dementia.

The increase equates to about an extra £80 a month in local authority contributions, or £1,000 a year.


However, The Herald has been made aware of cases where the extra funds, which go directly to providers from local authorities, have not been deducted from fees.

The son of an elderly man who is in a Glasgow care home and has advanced dementia said he is seeking answers from the provider after being sent his April bill. 

READ MORE: Labour and Tories vow to go further than SNP with free care guarantee for dementia affected 

He said: “I am afraid this means of reducing self-funders fees will only work if care homes are instructed to deduct increases from the council’s  contribution to the fees from the amount payable by the self funders. This is not happening.

“I have just received the monthly care home bill for my father and it is exactly the same amount per month as it was before the council increased their contribution to fees by £20. 

“The care home has simply retained the extra payment from the council and maintained the same charge to the self funders. This was entirely predictable.

“The care home will not reduce self funders fees by increases to allowances unless they are compelled to do so. At present they are not.”

The elderly resident’s son said the family had paid more than £50,000 to date in fees and said it was “one of few” in the city that was affordable to them.

A number of other relatives said they had not been made aware of any deductions to fees by care providers.

READ MORE: Concern over rise in elderly care home residents forced to sign fee guarantee contracts

A spokeswoman for Balhousie Care Group said the increase would be passed on to residents “as soon as it is received from the local authority’ and would be backdated from April 1 while Barchester said the increase would be deducted from weekly fees.

Jim Pearson, head of policy and research for Alzheimer Scotland, said: “It will depend on the company but what the fee payer should see is the overall fee and the free personal care contribution and this is your contribution.

“That doesn’t always happen."

The SNP has pledged to double care allowances if it is re-elected to government, following the recommendations of a major review of adult social care. Opposition parties have said they will go even further, in support of a campaign by Alzheimer Scotland and ensure that people with advanced dementia do not pay for nursing care.

The charity has previously raised concern that increases in free personal and nursing contributions will be “swallowed up” by fee rises.


A number of providers have cited extra costs incurred as a result of the pandemic for raising fees by as much as 12% this year, with some residents facing monthly rises of up to £500.

Mr Pearson said: “If there was a 2% or 3%  increase in fees, people might have seen some benefit from the 7.5% rise in contributions.

"It’s not fair people are being asked to pay these substantial increases at this time.

"It highlights exactly why we are campaigning for fair dementia care."