Management of closures criticised

The new Commission for Social Care Inspection and councils must do
more to ensure older people and their families receive the help and
protection they need when a care home is closed, researchers have

The University of Kent’s personal social services research unit has
revealed that there is little consistency in the management of care
home closures and that one-third of councils have no

Notice periods given to residents and their relatives ranged from
three weeks to more than a year, with some people receiving no help
from social services staff and given no choice in where they

Ann Netten, professor of social welfare at the University of Kent,
said people’s experiences varied considerably depending on where
they lived.

“In both policy and practice, council arrangements for managing
care home closures are often inconsistent or non-existent,” she
said. “Where they do exist, guidelines are frequently limited or
fail to address issues important to residents and relatives.”

Meanwhile, a report from analysts Market and Business Development
forecasts a “modest decline” in the number of residential care
places next year, partly due to the challenge to meet minimum
standards for accommodation.

In the longer-term there will be an upward trend in demand for
residential care, according to the UK Residential Care for the
Elderly Market Development Report.

– Closures of Care Homes for Older People, Personal Social
Services Research Unit, from 

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