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Care homes reaching ‘crisis point’ with lack of spaces and systemic failures

Almost half of people needing care are left waiting for a bed due to systemic failures and disparity in quality across the care home system.

Due to a lack of availability in homes, 48% of people who arranged care for themselves or a loved one said there were no places in at least one home they had chosen, according to consumer champion Which?.

The lack of options is forcing people to move to homes they are not comfortable with. In fact, 17% of people admitted they actually settled for a home they had reservations about.

In addition, a quarter of people who did find beds said they ended up feeling guilty or annoyed about not finding a more suitable place.

“Making the decision to move a loved one into a care home is difficult enough, so it is unacceptable that so many families are left feeling guilty or concerned about the choices they have made, simply because there is no choice,” commented Alex Hayman, managing director of public markets at Which?.

“The Competition and Markets Authority must look at the huge local disparities in care home provision, which are fast reaching crisis point.”

Addressing the problem, councils have blamed the disparity on the widening social care funding gap that has developed due to lack of government funding.

Cllr Linda Thomas, vice chair of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board explained: “Councils are committed to ensuring that people have access to good quality care. But this is being put at risk by the severe funding pressures faced by social care services.

“An increasing number of care homes are closing and care providers are handing back their council contracts because of cost pressures. We have warned that £1.3bn is needed right now just to stabilise the perilously fragile care provider market.

“Overall, social care faces an annual funding gap of £2.3bn by 2020,” she continued. “Unless social care is properly funded, the standard of care for elderly and vulnerable people is at risk. It is vital that the government sets out in the Autumn Budget how it will address the immediate social care crisis and deliver long-lasting reform that meets the needs of adults of all ages needing social care.”

NHS Digital revealed this week that in 2017 the social care sector saw its first ever real term spending rise since 2010. An increase of £556m has pushed overall authority costs to £17.5bn each year.

Top image: ANN

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Zaman   20/11/2017 at 14:21

I have gone through the article "Care homes reaching ‘crisis point’ with lack of spaces and systemic failures" which I found to be very informative. I am running a care home in Eastwood, Nottingham and have been rated "GOOD" by CQC in all the fields. I got a bit surprised to know that there is shortage of spaces for the residents whereas I despite being rated GOOD by CQC find it difficult to fill the bed slots available with me. I wonder if you could advice/help me in this regard. Thanks. Regards

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