CHP Editor Lee Peart looks ahead to another busy year for the social care sector.
Happy New Year! I hope you are well rested after the holidays and ready for another busy year.
Last year ended with the sadly predictable disappointment of another postponement of the Social Care Green Paper with the Government mired in the seemingly endless contortions of trying to get a Brexit deal through Parliament.
With the UK set to exit the EU at the end of March, with or without a deal, surely this year will see the Government finally get around to other important matters, including the Green Paper.
While hopes are not particularly high for the kind of radical transformation urgently required, the time for a change in the national conversation regarding how we fund social cared has surely come with some form of self-funding proposals through taxation likely to be proffered.
While Government stalls, however, investment activity in the sector is set to remain at record levels with investors attracted by the compelling fundamentals of rising demand due to the ageing demographic and an undersupply of fit for purpose homes.
With four of the top five providers looking for buyers, the sector is set to see some blockbuster deals with providers already positioning themselves to capitalise on potential acquisition opportunities.
Meanwhile, while the industry has been historically slow to take up technology, its efficiency and care enhancement benefits are becoming increasingly compelling.
Digital care planning adoption has finally begun penetrating through to the big providers and this process looks set to accelerate in the year ahead.
The controversial area of robotics is another area to keep an eye out for. Advinia Healthcare began trials in this area late last year and the conclusions from its trials is sure to cause some heated debate.
Much to look forward to then and you can be assured CHP will keep you abreast of the latest developments as they happen.