Care home providers should invest in more cost efficient purpose-built homes to help increase national bed capacity, according to Primesite Developments.
The north-west developer argues the recent drop in care home beds reported by Knight Frank (see Knight Frank reports drop in care home beds) has been caused by existing stock struggling to comply with CQC requirements and the exorbitant cost of heating energy inefficient buildings.
Danny Johnson, director at Primesite, said: “On average, 13 care homes closed per month last year, and much of this is down to the rising cost of operating a care home. Existing stock is largely made up of big, older houses that were not built with this usage in mind, and trying to keep an inefficient building running and permanently warm enough for vulnerable residents can wipe out profits.
“The implementation of upcoming minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) in April 2018 will also hit corporate care home landlords who own any building that fails to meet minimum Energy Performance Certificate requirements. Any care home property with a rating of F or G must implement measures to improve the rating – adding to the costs – otherwise the building will be legally rendered unusable.
“Care home providers should look to work with a network of specialist partners who embrace the latest building techniques and internal specifications. Many developers opt for the short-term cheapest option. We are leading by example in installing the right equipment from the beginning, so operators can benefit from a cost efficient care home.”
Danny also suggests that the buildings themselves should be designed around staffing levels, for maximum efficiency. For example, efficiency of movement between rooms makes a big difference.