Once again in 2019 there were more than two care home closures for every single opening, and to make matters even worse, homes were being opened where they were not really needed and closed where there was already a shortage of beds.
In their 5th annual report “SAY HELLO WAVE GOODBYE – Openings and Closures of Care Homes for Older People 2019” CSI Market Intelligence once again had to be the bearer of bad news.
The author Mike Short says, “whilst demand increases within the growing 75 plus population, for the fourth time in five years we have had to report on a sizeable loss in the number of beds available. But the real problem is that local supply has for some time been very fragmented with some areas hosting too many care homes, and others becoming care deserts, and the situation is getting worse and not better.”
Only one of the nine regions got away without losing beds. The North East boasted a nominal 0.2% increase in beds, but that same region already has the highest supply levels across the country, at nearly 20% above national average. And, would you believe it, the biggest loser was London although they are around 30% below national average supply levels.
The report also shows that of the 20 local authorities that gained most beds, 10 of these were already over supplied, and at the other end of the scale 12 out of the 20 local authorities that lost the most beds were already under-supplied.
Mike continued; “at one end of the scale we are seeing sparkling new developments creating rather than solving problems by adding to the pressure to existing providers with occupancy levels and the ability to employ enough care staff, whilst at the other end homes are closing in increasingly barren areas. In this situation, how local commissioners can offer a choice of local care facilities to their clients is hard to imagine.”
The report can be accessed for free from www.csi-marketintelligence.co.uk