The cost per resident in the five council-run care homes is £130 a week more than in private sector care homes, new figures have revealed.
Scottish Borders Council pays £632 a week towards council-run homes at Eyemouth (Saltgreens), Hawick (Greenfield), Innerleithen (St Ronans), Kelso (Grove House) and Galashiels (Waverley); while voluntary and private sector homes receive £499.38.
All residential care homes must provide the same quality of care according to the regulations set down by the Care Inspectorate and after discovering the difference in costs, Roxburgh, Ettrick and Berwickshire MSP John Lamont is concerned about the potential impact this will have in future years as the elderly population increases.
He said: “Residential care homes play a vital role in our communities, helping to look after a huge number of elderly residents we have in the Borders. We must always ensure that they are well funded, and that they continue to provide the best standards of care possible.
“However, we must also strive to get the best value for money out of our council tax, and these figures show that this is currently not the case. The council is currently paying far more per week to fund its care homes than those run by the voluntary or private sector.
“With council budgets already being stretched we cannot afford any inefficiencies. The council need to look at how they can provide better value for money on their care homes but still provide the same high levels of care on offer at other homes.”