Magazine article Public Finance

Thousands of Lost Care Home Places 'Not Replaced'

Magazine article Public Finance

Thousands of Lost Care Home Places 'Not Replaced'

Article excerpt

Almost 3,500 public sector care home places for elderly and disabled people were lost last year and fewer than one third were replaced by independent provision, a report says.

Care of elderly people UK market survey 2006, by analysts Laing and Buisson, found that 3,478 places were lost in NHS and local authority care homes in the past financial year.

Only 1,252 new places were created in the private and voluntary sector, resulting in a net loss of 2,226.

The report follows concerns over Increased bed blocking in some areas of the country.

The availability of care home places was lowest in London - at 73% of the UK average, the report found. East Anglia (82%) and the northern Home Counties (87%) were also significantly below average.

Although the rate of care home closures has dropped by 50% since 2004/05, report author Alexa Fernandez warned: 'While some of the future rise in demand may be met by alternative models of care, such as domiciliary care and extra care, traditional care home capacity must be rebuilt. …

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