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
    said.

    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
    survey.

    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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