The CEO of Care England is calling for Matt Hancock to put in place a system of occupancy strategy in the care home sector to support its future sustainability.
In a letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Professor Martin Green said occupancy strategies, like those enacted in Scotland, Northern Ireland in Wales, are of “fundamental importance” given the role which adult social care continues to play the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Green commented: “Decreased occupancy rates in the adult social care sector have had an adverse impact upon adult social care provider sustainability. Decreased occupancy rates have, in turn, increased care costs per head. This is at a time when care providers have been confronted by an array of COVID-19 related costs.”
Care England has also written to every Director of Adult Social Care in the country regarding fee rates and the need to work in partnership with providers to ensure the best means of recovery in conjunction with quality care with those in need.
It informed them that the majority of care providers’ costs are fixed and cannot, in the main, be reduced despite dropping occupancy levels. This includes their heightened staffing costs.
All these costs, Care England said, will therefore have to continue to be endured despite significant drops in income.
Martin Green continued: “An occupancy strategy would be a very effective way of increasing the sustainability of the adult social care sector in the coming weeks and months. This is of fundamental importance given the role which adult social care has, and continues, to play in England’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”