Report claims lift rules will close care homes

The care homes sector will face “meltdown” when the national
minimum standards for care homes are introduced next April,
according to a survey of nearly 300 homes in Hampshire.

Hampshire Care Association (HCA), which represents residential
and nursing homes in the area, claims one standard alone has the
potential to put a quarter of its members’ homes out of business
when it is implemented next year. HCA chairperson Ronnie Cairnduff
said the survey gave clear evidence that requirements on passenger
lifts will seriously reduce the number of available places.

“By excluding a stair lift from the definition of a ‘passenger
lift’, the Department of Health has set a time-bomb ticking,” he

The survey finds that more than half the homes in the area are
already fitted with a stair or chair lift, but under the standards
will have to replace them with a passenger lift.

About 70 per cent of those homes with stair or chair lifts will
be unable to afford to install a passenger lift, according to the

Those homes that will be able to carry out the works face
considerable costs and the potential loss of bed capacity and
communal facilities, says the survey.

“Even at the height of summer, bed-blocking is at unacceptable
levels,” added Cairnduff. “Unless the government comes to its
senses – and quickly – the placement system will grind to a halt
leaving the NHS in total gridlock.”

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