BLAENAU Gwent council pays out the lowest amount in care home costs per eligible resident of the all Welsh councils which responded to a survey it has been revealed.

The general trade union GMB asked all Welsh councils how much they paid per person for those who qualify to have their residential care costs paid by the council.

Blaenau Gwent pays a maximum of £426.86 per week to care home owners for qualifying residents, the survey found.

This compares to the Vale of Glamorgan which pays a maximum of £524 per week, the highest amount from the 20 survey respondents, out of 22 councils in Wales.

The National Audit office says spending on adult social care has declined by eight per cent in the last three years alone.

If a resident’s capital is below £23,250, they should be entitled to financial support from the local authority for residential and nursing care, domiciliary care and meals on wheels if available.

Justin Bowden, national officer for workers in the care sector with the GMB, said: “The time is long overdue for politicians of all parties to face up to the social care funding crisis.

“The fair cost of care model developed with the Rowntree Foundation sets the figure at £600 per week. The vast majority of councils pay way below that.

“If £600 per week is what is needed to provide decent care for our elderly and vulnerable, provided by fairly paid staff, then that is what should be paid. National government has a duty to provide councils with the resources to do this.”

In response to the revelations, a spokeswoman for Blaenau Gwent council said: “There will be differences in care home fees across Wales as property and utility costs can vary significantly across the country.

“In Blaenau Gwent we have consistently worked with all providers in the sector and we negotiate fees annually based on local market conditions. The level of fees paid to care homes does not correlate directly to the quality of care provided by the staff to residents.”