Care Homes in crisis
By Trevor Carbin
In the early stages of Covid 19, the government's policy of shifting infected people out of hospitals into Care Homes turned them into killing fields. As well as the direct reduction in numbers this meant that other people were reluctant to make the move into a home. A report to Wiltshire Council's Health committee explains the problem, and the effect it's having on the industry.
As occupancy levels drop so does financial viability, and a number of Care Homes in Wiltshire have closed recently, with others at risk of doing so.
The sector has also taken a hit from rising insurance costs. Causes of this are increases in litigation, including from staff as a result of inept management.
Rapid turnover in ownership - usually a bad sign for any industry - is occuring with investment companies buying care providers and accommodation. The report says that "insurers are becoming frustrated with more mercenary operators who charge maximum prices while doing the minimum possible regarding staff salaries and training. ... These operators are destroying the industry and their practices increase risk by not investing enough in care staff."
The report, which can be viewed here, (p33) does not provide any solutions to the problem, which looks likely to get worse in the future.