Councillors and medical chiefs have defended their decision not to provide extra money for nursing homes despite getting more funding from the NHS.

Care England claimed the decision taken by several NHS bodies – including Haringey Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – not to boost financial support for care home patients meant there was an increased risk of vulnerable people ending up in hospital.

The group, which represents independent adult social care providers, said that despite “significant” increases in NHS funding, many CCGs were failing to pay for the increased cost of looking after vulnerable people in nursing homes.

It said this piled added pressure on an “already fragile” sector, with nursing homes closing at an increasing rate and adding to the demands on an over-stretched NHS.

Care homes have been hit by rising costs due to hikes in the minimum wage and nurse pay, making recruiting and training staff more difficult.

Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England, said: “Decisions by some CCGs make absolutely no sense at all. Zero per cent fee decisions result in vulnerable people at risk of ending up in hospital and not in care settings within their communities.

“This is exactly what the NHS is trying to avoid. Once again we call for a long term holistic plan by looking at the bigger picture”.

A joint statement from the council and Haringey CCG said care providers had been encouraged to let them know if they felt an increase was required, and any proposals would be reviewed carefully.

The statement continued: “Both the Council and the CCG face significant financial challenges as a result of ongoing funding reductions by central government alongside rising demand for services.

“The recent increase in NHS funding allocated to the CCG is not sufficient to meet increased demand and costs, which leaves the CCG needing to deliver significant efficiencies to meet demand from available resources.

“The council and the CCG recognise that there are variations in fees paid for supported living and care home placements sub-regionally, meaning that in some cases we are paying more than other local authorities for equivalent placements.

“We are therefore working with our partners across north central London to harmonise fees and establish sustainable pricing that both responds to individual need and meets the cost of care. We look forward to engaging with providers this year to help improve pricing arrangements beyond 2019.”