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Just Like Last Year - We Are Going The Wrong Way

29 July 2016

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 July 29, 2016
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A CSI snapshot of care home openings and closures in the first half of 2016 shows a worrying trend that is in line with 2015

We lost over 3,000 care home beds in England in 2015 when we should have been adding around 16,000 – just to cope with our increased elderly population. The first half of 2016 is shaping up much the same.

At the beginning of this year CSI published the report Say Hello Wave Goodbye that detailed the openings and closures of care homes during 2015.

The good news was that there were many new purpose built homes. The bad news was that for every two beds that were appearing, three were disappearing.

2,000 care home beds were lost through openings and closures in England during 2015, when there should have 16,000 more beds – simply to cope with our increased elderly population.

The net loss was made up of 6,400 openings and 9,400 closures, whilst around 1,100 extra beds were achieved through increased registrations from existing homes.

2015 infogram

The first half of 2016 is shaping up much the same as 2015 – with 3,000 extra beds from new homes, 4,800 beds lost through closures, and 411 new beds have been created through increased registrations from existing homes – a net loss of around 1,300 beds.

Leading industry commentators suggest that occupancy rates are around 90% – which means 360,000 out of the 400,000 beds allocated to the elderly are occupied and 40,000 are vacant.

So with a 18,000 annual deficit between what is needed and what is being provided – in just a few years there will be little or choice for those requiring a care home bed across the country – and the local situation will be even worse.

At the current rate of closures by 2017/ 2018 there will be more elderly people needing care home beds than there will be beds available.

no vacancies

Even worse on a local basis

CSI has repeatedly reported on the major variances in local supply and demand across the country, and what has happened during 2016 so far is not making things any better:

• Out of a total of 150 local authorities only 26 showed a net increase in beds over the first six months of 2016.

• For 16 out of the 26 it was a necessary growth as they were relatively under supplied at the end of 2015. So a little over 10% of Local Authorities enjoyed much needed growth.

• There was no openings or closures in over a third of all local authorities experienced no openings or closures even though half of these needed to increase their supply of care home beds.

• 71 local authorities showed a net decrease in beds, and it was relatively “good” news for 26 of these, as they were relatively over supplied at the end of 2015.

If you are a Local Authority or County Care Asociation and would like to know how your area has fared so far in 2016 email me here.

The Effect of Brexit and the Living Wage

Obviously what has happened so far in 2016 will not have been caused by the Living Wage or BREXIT as major strategic decisions to open or close would have been made well before either events were known or considered.

But one really key issue from BREXIT that has not yet been considered is the very strong possibility of increased Energy costs that, for a care home, make up a majority of non-payroll costs.

I spoke with business utility experts energycentric and have detailed what are major concerns in another CSI Insight that can be read here.

The Effect of CQC Ratings

So of those homes that were closed did the rating they received from the CQC have an effect?

• Of the 165 homes, half of them had yet to be rated by the CQC (compared to around 25% still awaiting the new inspection across all homes)

Closures by CQC rating

• Around 27% of those closed had a Good rating (against 68% of all homes) 39% required improvement (29% of all homes) and 35% were rated Inadequate (3% of all homes).

So this equates to 1 in 11 Inadequates closing down, compared with 1 in 110 requiring improvement and 1 in 400 rated Good which shows that homes struggling to get a positive CQC rating are also struggling to survive.

And whilst we have lost around 9% of Inadequates, 91% still survive.

To see all CSI reports sign up to the free CSI mailing list here

Mike Short
Care Sector Innovations

Care Sector Innovations works within the care sector providing marketing support to care providers from a single project through to strategic management utilising our unique Care Sector Market Model.

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