BBC investigation exposes falling number of care home beds in England

5 live investigates

BBC Radio 5 Live dedicated its weekly 5 Live Investigates to the care home industry on Sunday.

Click here to download the podcast from the BBC website.

To industry insiders the investigation dug up little new, but the half hour programme suggests that the squeeze on local authority funding for care homes is moving up the news agenda.

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The BBC led the report with news that last year there was a net loss of care home beds in England, and suggested that there is worse to come.

It warned that by the end of the decade demand for local authority-funded care home beds is likely to outstrip supply.

Reporter Rob Cave highlighted that the rise in local authority fees paid to care homes has risen at below the rate of inflation and other rising costs facing operators for the past five years – a real terms squeeze.

Healthcare consultant LaingBuisson told the BBC that in the 12 months to last September more than 7700 care home beds were lost in England, but around 6100 new beds were opened.

Overall, there are around 1600 fewer care home beds available to LA-funded residents this year, the report concluded.

 

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