First fall in care home beds must trigger more government funding, say health consultants

Local authority-funded care home places are disproportionately affected

care home
Photo: BURGER/PHANIE/REX

Government must pledge more money to local authorities or risk a shortage of care home beds, according to a report by healthcare experts LaingBuisson.

The number of beds to close has exceeded the number opening for the first time this year, with a loss of 3, 000 bed places in all.

The research said the reduction in fees local authorities pay to care home providers as a result of government austerity had been responsible for driving the falling numbers of care home places.

Poorer areas

This was mainly affecting homes catering to publically-funded care home residents in poorer areas, while those funding their own care largely in affluent areas of the country were unaffected, the authors added

LaingBuisson flagged up the postponement of the cap on care costs under the Care Act and the announcement of a national living wage as having the biggest impact on the care sector.

National living wage

The national living wage is predicted further to impact care home places as additional costs drive up fees to a level local authorities cannot afford without additional government funding.

Report author and chief executive of LaingBuisson, William Laing said the question was: “Will the government make provision in the comprehensive spending review, due in late November, to bail out care providers facing the threat of going underwater?”

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4 Responses to First fall in care home beds must trigger more government funding, say health consultants

  1. Patrick Graham October 5, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    We have been working hard, like many other local authorities, to keep more people in their own homes, longer…

    They are safer there,
    happier there,
    more in control there,
    costing us much less in taxpayers money there
    and not making profits for care home owners there.
    If people are only placed there when its absolutely necessary because the necessary nursing care cannot be provided in their familiar home, then we need even fewer beds than is currently the case.

    guess why the number of places has reduced?
    guess why it should reduce further?

    Are these Health consultants studying the facts or just the demographic trends and Care home owners complaints?

    • Gerald October 14, 2015 at 12:57 am #

      It is amazing that the Public, when they are given a choice, actually are actually prepared to pay for Care Home placements and it is only the Public Sector’s juggling the criterions around and forcing what would have been NHS funded clients to be means tested and then have to pay privately. Please compare what the NHS pays Care homes per week and what they pay a NHS trust then you might not begrudge what the Private Sector earns (profit).

  2. Julia Abadi October 5, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

    There appears to be a lack of joined up policy from this government. You would think that with the amount of educationally privileged people in Westminster, they would be able to work out the consequences of their policies.

    • Gerald October 14, 2015 at 1:03 am #

      In this case I think you might find that the Public Sector ( LA’s and NHS) have far more of these “Privileged” people knocking about and wasting Billions of our money.
      A massive shake up across the Public Sector Management is needed , but as long as we blame the Politions this will never happen.