Owners protest against red tape

More than 250 care home owners lobbied MPs last week to protest
over too much red tape, which they claim is forcing many owners to
leave the sector.

The lobby, organised by the National Care Homes Association and
Registered Nursing Homes Association, highlighted the increasing
difficulties many home owners have in meeting national minimum
standards and the poor rates councils pay for funded residents.

Home owners were not opposed to standards but felt they were overly
onerous, said Frank Ursell, chief executive of the RNHA. One
section calls for 17 different documents to be recorded on every

“We’ve seen too much emphasis on process from the National Care
Standards Commission at the expense of outcome and performance. It
is having a knock-on to our business – I spend 20 to 30 extra hours
a week on administration now,” he added.

Ursell said more than 500 homes had closed since the standards were
introduced in 2002. He added that an 8 per cent increase in the
minimum wage for staff, while councils were providing only a 3 per
cent fees rise, would make margins even tighter this year.

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