Agencies charging up to £90 an hour during crisis, Barchester boss reveals

Barchester Healthcare – Corporate Headshots – May 2014

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.

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“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.


Tags : AgencyBarchesterCoronavirusDr Pete CalveleyWages

The author Lee Peart


  1. Agencies are like prowling sharks capitalising on the needs of the nation in a time of crisis.

    I wonder how much they pay their staff – I bet is not even half of what they are charging!!!

    Absolutely criminal!!

  2. According to Barchester Director on agencies charging £90.00 those agencies are dubious and refused to pay carers up to £10 per hour.
    This is the period for Govt to look into carers in agencies in uk. They are inhuman and self centred.
    A carers are taken risk of covid 19.if infected the agency will not bother about you or cares.
    Govt should look into this

  3. I work in a care home a big company minimum wage should be on danger money not once have the company offered any insensitive and now because of the low staffing levels there is more agency then your regular staff. Making your work much harder because basically the majority of the agency staff are lazy and some haven’t a clue. If our wages reflect what we do we would not have this big staff turn over.

  4. Hi,

    I work for a Nursing agency, we were an active supplier to many Barchester Homes supporting them with both agency Carers and Nurses. Unfortunately were removed as a supplier last year as apparently a survey was sent out to the care homes asking what agencies they use, but the homes we supplied too said they recieved the survey.

    We charge a maximum of only a third of that, which is very reasonable!

    Would be great for someone at Barchester to contact us as we can really help with staffing and dont try to profiteer off of a global crisis!

    02084986814 – Josh

  5. I worked for Barchester, got paid minimum wage and offered no incentive for overtime, I left to work for an agency who offered ongoing training, flexible working hours and £3 an hour pay increase. Don’t forget agency staff are putting themselves in danger too but the Barchester boss needs to look closer to home, pay a good wage treat staff right and they will be willing to work extra shifts….. You would think it was rocket science. Don’t forget Barchester charge upwards of £1200 per room per week for EMI care, but there’s Jo profit there???? I only feel for your reaidents.

  6. I can confirm that the above lady is correct in respect of Barchester fees,as my. relative was paying 1228.00 per week.I am saddened to learn how underpaid their staff are.

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