Care home owner facing 789% gas bill rise says 6 months not long enough for price cap

Care home owner Joyce Pinfield has been holding off signing a new contract for her gas in the hope yesterday’s government announcement would bring good news.

It did but not, she fears, good enough, and not in the long term.

Joyce was quoted a gas contract 789% more expensive than her last, at £80,000 a year rather than £9,000.

Even if halved by the new government cap, it’s still unaffordable, she said.

It comes after a 260% rise to her electricity bill in June, which will still be punishing even if the government cap cuts that too.

Joyce runs Greenacres in Crowle, Lincs, and is also the The National Care Association vice chair.

She said: “Even with the reduction in cost, it will be unsustainable for many care providers, and I think so for me, from what I have at present seen.”

She said of taking a bank loan: “That might still be something we need to do within this six-month period.

“Only six months isn’t long enough. We need more certainty.”

Yesterday the local NHS trust told Joyce her fee for taking on a patient from the hospital will not be going up.

She said it would be fairer for care homes to pay domestic rates, as people live there.