‘Sector must fill future care gaps’

    The care home sector will have to grow to keep pace with the
    needs of an ageing population, warn market analysts.

    The number of people eligible for care home places will grow by
    10,000 a year over the next 15 years, according to a report from
    Laing and Buisson.

    Because only some of the increased demand can be met by extra or
    domiciliary care, the decline of the care home sector will have to
    be reversed, it says.

    In the year to April 2005, care home capacity shrank by 8,700
    places to 476,200, about 100,000 fewer than the 1996 peak, although
    the reduction was less than the previous year’s fall of 9,500.

    Places in council-run homes declined by 2,200 in 2003-4 and by
    3,500 in 2004-5.

    Though demand for places fell by 6,700 from 2004 to 2005, Laing
    and Buisson said this reflected the depleted first world war
    generation reaching advanced old age, and the trend would soon be


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