10% of Care Home Beds at Risk of Closing

Friday, 27th November 2015

Published 27 November 2015.Care Home Beds Closures

A major Thinktank has issued a warning that 10% of care home beds in the UK could close in the next 5 years due to a lack of funding.

Research undertaken by ResPublica assessing the state of the residential care industry projects a funding gap of over £1 billion by 2020/21 amongst residential care beds driven by factors including an ageing population, more complex conditions amongst older people and decreasing funding for the social care sector. It is considered that this could result in the closure of 37,000 of the 425,000 care home beds in the UK.

The number of beds at risk is greater than the 31,000 beds involved in the collapse of Southern Cross in 2011 and, because the sector is now under even greater financial strain, it is unlikely that there will be a private ‘provider of last resort’ to help the beds and families impacted. The fear is therefore that many care home residents will end up in hospital beds, costing the NHS £3 billion a year.

Dr Chai Patel, Executive Chairman HC One – the UK’s third largest care provider, said:

“This report shows that unless the Chancellor takes urgent action to address this looming crisis, tens of thousands of older people will lose their homes and be forced into the NHS. Southern Cross was a failing company, what we are facing now is a failing system. At a time when the Baby Boom generation is beginning to retire, and look ahead to their long term care needs, there are huge fears that the homes to care for them simply won’t exist.”

Oliver Stirk, Director at Carefound Home Care, commented:

“The lack of foresight from Central Government with regards to the care of older people in the UK is very concerning and there needs to be a fundamental shift in the way care is funded and delivered. At Carefound Home Care our focus is on delivering the best possible hourly home care and live-in care services to families, ensuring that older people are able to remain in their own homes for as long as they wish, even when living with more complex conditions such as dementia or Parkinson’s.”

Source: ResPublica.