UK faces national crisis as 6,500 care homes could close, Knight Frank warns

Julian Evans

The UK is facing a national crisis with 6,500 care homes totalling 140,000 beds at risk of closure over the next five years, Knight Frank has warned.

Research by the property expert found the expected shortfall will be exacerbated by increased demand for care homes by 2050 with one in ten adults set to be over 80 by 2050 compared to one in 20 currently.

Julian Evans, Head of Healthcare at Knight Frank, (pictured) said: “Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the outstanding collaboration between the private sector, social care sector and NHS at this time of need and the strength in controlling infection levels, it has also unfortunately highlighted the lack of investment by successive governments into the UK’s healthcare sector, and therefore the urgent need to prioritise preventative and crisis funding.

Story continues below

“At present, there is not enough care bed capacity and there is a structural under-provision of beds in the social care sector. The pandemic has accelerated trends to scrutinise those buildings that are not fit for purpose whilst emphasising the insufficient funding available for reinvestment into existing care homes, which has therefore expedited the number of potential care home closures. This will result in a national bed crisis unless significant inward investment in the UK care home sector is taken.”

Knight Frank estimates the UK will require more than £15bn to future proof the care home market with COVID-19 having accelerated the closure of stock that is no longer fit for purpose.

The property expert also revealed the UK ranked lower than Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany, with only 13,000 elderly care beds per 100,000 people over 80. Belgium and the Netherlands, moreover, have a significantly higher proportion at over 25,000 elderly care beds per 100,000 people over 80.

Julian added: “Once the situation resolves around the COVID-19 pandemic, we will see a number of changes around how operators fare and we expect that with the scarcity of stock and a continuing ageing population driving demand, the investment appetite for care home developments will remain strong. There will undoubtedly be a flight to quality as investors seek defensive healthcare assets and we anticipate that investment into the sector will be robust, from a broad church of domestic and overseas investors.”

Tags : Care Home ClosuresKnight FrankResearch

The author Lee Peart


  1. This is all adding to the crisis within Social Care, which was extreme before, what else has to occur to bring action from this Government and this is only referring to Care Homes.

    What about the other sectors within Social Care, being, hospices, supported living and home care, all of which are in pretty similar circumstances of Care Homes and again the need of these services are forever increasing.

    Family Carers already save the UK over £130 billion and they are not able to do more, so the crisis will get worse in every direction, immediate Government is more than essential.

    Without further delay the Government needs to make substantial funding available to all Local Authorities so that every service provider is able to continue and to continue in a way where good quality care is not only maintained, but is substantially improved. Here CQC need to do what they were created for and not only look at record keeping, but also, actual care delivery, so the CQC will also need a substantial investment.

  2. Really? Sounds like you believe your own spin. Can’t you see there is a concerted, growing effort by this Government and certain sections of the media to destroy the care home market. I wouldn’t want to be investing in care homes and I own one!!!!!

Leave a Response