Pressure on UK care homes as staff costs hit all-time high

care home nurse

UK care home staff costs are at an all-time high with most nursing and residential homes baring staff costs equal to 55% and 52% of turnover respectively.

According to a report, produced by Natwest, which analysed data from 156 homes, including both SME and corporate providers, in some cases costs could be significantly higher than the average.

The study showed agency costs appear to add a further 2% onto staff costs.

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The use of agencies is higher than expected, with 41% of residential and 52% of nursing homes using this service.

The next most significant costs were also reviewed in the report – heat and lighting, food and maintenance. Food costs are around £4 per day among residential and nursing homes, or around £1,460 per year.

Maintenance spend is around £1,000 per year, and the cost of heat and lighting is £830.

Among nursing homes, the mood is particularly positive with 43% predicting that trading is improving.

The report also shows a correlation between lower maintenance spend and inspection findings, with the typical maintenance cost at around £1,000 per bedroom.

Natwest noted: “when this [maintenance] spend drops to £250, we may be dealing with either a new home or one possibly not receiving the attention it deserves or needs”.

Local authority use of beds is highest in the North of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Average fee rates in Northern Ireland and the North of England are some of the lowest, reflecting the lower fees paid by some local authorities.

The average fee among residential homes is £597 per week and among nursing homes it increases to £730 per week.

Table outlining home costs

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