Self funding care home residents are paying almost £69,000 for accommodation alone in some areas of Scotland in figures that have been branded "extraordinary" by a Labour politician.

Data revealed in a parliamentary question by Alex Rowley, MSP for Fife, shows that the average annual cost last year ranged from £39,676 to almost £69,000 in Edinburgh - the highest in Scotland and almost £1300 a week.

The figure does not include the cost of care which councils contribute towards.

The Shetland Islands had the second highest rates with self-funders paying £67, 689 on average while Clackmannanshire was among the lowest for fees at just under £40,000, around £11,000 lower than the Scottish average of £51,740.

Elderly people in Glasgow paid £46,072 while in East Renfrewshire the average cost was £46,748 and £64,000 in East Dunbartonshire.

It comes in the week that the Scottish Government published the draft bill for the new National Care Service which it said would end the "postcode lottery" of care for frail elderly and disabled people.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said there would be a focus on home care with older people supported by loved ones in their own community "where possible".

There was some criticism that the bill does not include a cap on the amount people are expect to pay for personal care in care homes.

The UK government has said no one will pay more than £86,000 for personal care from 2023  while those with less than £20,000 in assets will not have to pay anything, which is up from £14,250. Living and accommodation costs will also be capped at £200 per week.


In response to the figures Mr Rowley tweeted: "Have you seen this extraordinary parliamentary answer which lays bare the level of profit extraction by care home providers.

"These are the amounts those who are self funding pay for their board and lodgings in care homes in each council area - the average is £51,000 this does NOT include the cost of the care element paid for by councils - the cost ranges from £40,000 to £68,000."

READ MORE: SNP branded 'worse than Tories' over care cost cap failure 

He later added: "These are people who have worked all their lives and have contributed to our economy and society but are now seeing their savings stolen from them in astronomical charges levied in the main by private care providers.


"In care homes where many staff are lucky to earn £10 per hour, self funding residents are being charged on average £1000 per week.  

"This blatant rip off cannot continue, we need urgent action from the Scottish Government to end this scandalous rip off and exploitation of our older citizens."

Care home providers have blamed soared energy bills and food prices for rising fees as well as well as pandemic-related costs such as improved air conditioning and PPE.

An employment crisis in the sector also means providers are having to rapidly increase staff wages while insurance bills have risen after the pandemic saw nervous insurers hike premiums. 

The  Scottish Government said the UK government had only capped personal care costs, which it insisted were "already free" in Scotland.

READ MORE: SNP's National Care Service plans revealed with focus on home care 

It has vowed to end all non-residential care charges and said personal and nursing care payments had already been raised above inflation for the last two consecutive years to recognise the increasing cost of care.

For 2022-23 these rates are set at £212.85 per week for personal care and £95.80 per week for nursing care. 

But Alzheimer Scotland has repeatedly raised concerns that self-funders are subsidising local authority-funded residents.

The charity said personal care was not free in Scotland but "merely mitigates the care element of care home costs." and said there was "no relation" between the level of payments and the actual cost.

Care home providers who took part in a consultation for the new NationalCare Service bill have described a "chasm" between the amount self-funders are charged and those who do not pay for care in costs agreed under the National Care Home contract.

Brian Murray, owner of Abbey Court Care Home in Glasgow, said councils were currently "making their own rules" in regards to charging policies.

He wrote: "How can local councils charge £900 a week for residential care but only pay out £635 per week to private providers?

"Councils can charge what they want to place residents in their own run care homes but private providers subject to the national care home contract are given much less funds and expected to provide the same services.

"Not all private providers are money grabbing offshore bank account holders, some of them are small independent providers who genuinely want to provide good quality care, but that is impossible under the current contract."

Scottish Care, which represents the independent care sector, said care homes were providing "complex care and support to people with advanced conditions for a third of the cost of a hospital"

It said care could ranged from "personalised decoration and activities all the way through to complex nursing care".

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government has increased Free Personal and Nursing Care payments above inflation for the last two consecutive years to recognise the increasing cost of care."

The Herald is supporting Alzheimer Scotland's campaign for fairer care home fees for people living with advanced dementia.