Bradford care home calls for 'urgent' government action to combat rising energy costs

One care home in Silsden is expecting gas prices to rise from £12,000 to £60,000. Credit: PA

A care home in Bradford has called for "urgent" government action as it struggles to cope with rising energy costs.

The Raikes Care Home in Silsden has seen a 300% increase in electricity costs and gas prices are expected to be five times higher than they are currently.

David Crabtree, the care home's owner, said the situation is critical and the entire sector will collapse if more support isn't given before January.

Professor Vic Rayner, chief executive of the National Care Forum, told ITV News: "Care homes don't have the capacity to turn off the lights or go down to a three day working week.

"They need to be keeping people warm and safe in an environment that is comfortable for them."

If care homes are forced to close due to spiralling costs, the NHS will have to pick up the pieces - putting the service under even more pressure.

There are already 6.7 million people on waiting lists for operations and the NHS Confederation says this number will rise significantly if even a small percentage of residential care capability is lost.

Rory Deighton, of the NHS Confederation, said: "We haven't seen pressure in the NHS at this kind of level in the last 20 years.

"The potential impact of another set of pressures if care homes close because of the cost of living will be really, really significant for the NHS.

"It's really important that the government understands just how significant the current crisis is.

"We need quick, decisive, urgent action that recognises the way that social care, residential care, care homes and the NHS are linked together."

A government spokesperson from the Department of Health and Social Care said: "We understand that people are struggling with rising prices, and while we can’t shield everyone from the global challenges, we will continue to support businesses, including care homes, in navigating the months ahead.

"We have made over £1 billion available specifically for adult social care this year via the Local Government Finance Settlement.

"Small businesses already benefit from a reduced rate of VAT for the energy they use."

However, for Professor Rayner and other care home sector workers, this money just does not go far enough.