A “TERRIBLE ten” list of local authorities who pay the lowest care home fees in Wales have been named and shamed.

Swansea are bottom of the table while Neath Port Talbot are just two places higher with Carmarthenshire sandwiched between them.

However, the picture is far better in Gwent, with Torfaen and Monmouthshire (first and second), and Blaenau Gwent (fifth), all featuring in the top five, paying far more per resident.

According to industry champions Care Forum Wales (CFW), care homes are the victims of an untenable postcode lottery which means they’re paid wildly differing fees depending on which county they are in.

CFW chairman, Mario Kreft, is calling for an urgent shake-up of the system once the new Welsh Government is place, with a new national fee structure that is fair to all.

CFW, which represents nearly 500 independent social care providers across Wales, is awarding wooden spoons to the ten worst payers as part of CFW's annual "cheapskate awards".


CFW have illustrated the point by publishing a “league of shame” highlighting the massive chasm between the top and bottom local authorities.

Right at the foot of the table is Swansea where a 40-bed care home receives £230,000 less than a home in league leaders Torfaen in Gwent – or just over £5,700 per resident.

The gulf is likely to be even wider in July when Cardiff Council publish their new rates because last year’s fees were higher than the increased payments announced in Gwent for 2021/22.

Last year’s fees in Cardiff would still put them at the top of the table – the old rate in the capital is £1,600 a year more per resident than the new increased fee in Torfaen.

Newport negotiate separately with individual providers so it was not possible to include them in the table but they are in line with the generally higher rates paid in South East Wales while Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council had not yet revealed their fees for the coming year.

Mr Kreft said: “The current system is broken and not fit for purpose. The aim of the Cheapskate Awards is to highlight the really serious problems created by an iniquitous fee structure here in Wales.

“The statutory responsibilities the local authorities have are discharged in such a way that we have this post code lottery which has led to an unstable system.

“Some of these figures really amount to a kick in the teeth to dedicated people who have been showing tremendous courage as well as skill and kindness in the face of a frightening disease during this deadly global pandemic.

“Are vulnerable people in Torfaen really worth £5,700 a year more than equally fragile people in Swansea?"