Barchester CEO Dr Pete Calveley has revealed that agencies are charging up to £90 an hour for staff during the COVID-19 crisis.
Dr Calveley (pictured) told Radio 4’s You and Your’s programme that many small and medium-sized care home operators faced going out of business without further support due to additional costs as a result of the pandemic.
“It is an impending crisis that will have a terrible impact in the next two-three months,” said Dr Calveley. “We can expect occupancy to drop by 4-6% due to the increase in deaths and fewer admissions because of fears over COVID-19, and if it hits 80% occupancy then homes are not making money and can’t afford to pay staff and running costs.
“We are a very resilient business, with very little debt and should be OK, but small/medium providers will go out of business.”
Dr Calveley said Barchester’s monthly death toll had tripled as a result of COVID-19 from 420 to 1,200.
Commenting on the eye watering current charges being made by agencies, the Barchester boss added: “It’s a massive cost to us. But it’s a seller’s market and we have no choice but that’s the sort of charge that we are paying.”
Barchester operates over 200 care homes and employs more than 17,000 staff in the UK.