Care providers in Worcestershire are being underfunded by the county council, a representative body has claimed.

Care England, which represents adult social care providers, said some of the most vulnerable people in society will be impacted.

According to Care England, the funding increase offered to care providers by Worcestershire County Council isn’t enough and could result in providers having to close or reduce their services.

It said for adults under 65, the council has offered providers an uplift of four per cent subject to the “extremely lengthy process” of using a cost-calculating template.

And Care England said the council’s new system for working out the funding for adults over 65 is “an attempt to cut costs”.

It said care providers need an increase in funding of 10-12 per cent just to meet existing cost pressures.

Professor Martin Green, the charity’s chief executive, said: “The council’s position has created a situation where multiple provider failures are likely to occur.

“This risks causing the council significant additional costs in commissioning urgent replacement 

services as well as extreme distress to many people relying upon the services locally.

“The council has completely disregarded the concerns of care providers and the impact this will have on their residents, their families, and the wider community.

“The council has placed itself in an ivory tower above judgement or recourse. Care England remains committed to finding a resolution which enables those who need care in Worcestershire to access the right care at the right time, and where care providers feel part of a collaborative partnership.”

Mark Fitton, the council’s strategic director of people, said: “The council has been consulting directly with care providers on fee uplifts for the coming financial year.

“No conclusions have yet been determined as responses to the questionnaire are currently being assessed.  

“We have also worked extensively alongside our care home providers for several months to seek their views around a dynamic purchasing system for older people’s care home provision in the county.

“Our engagement with them in recent months has included an online questionnaire to capture views of providers and collation of any letters received from the sector, facilitating three drop-in sessions and holding 10 one-to-one discussions with the care homes.”

Mr Fitton said further feedback sessions were held in November and the fees originally proposed have been amended slightly while “remaining in line with current market pressures”.