New research out today has found a huge shortfall in the number of care home beds in the South of England.
Property consultants JLL predict that there will be a shortfall of 3,000 care home beds across England. This will equate to a 70,000 care home bed shortfall by 2026!
JLL research looked at annual build programmes since 2002 and found that on average 7,000 care home beds are added per year. They predict that over the next ten years there is going to be an additional 14,000 care home residents.
At this rate we're building half the number of new care beds we're going to need. When you add to this that in the last 3 years 1 in 20 care home beds have closed in the UK, you can see we have a problem.
The care sector says that "Local Authorities reduce demand not by increasing capacity but by changing the criteria for placement in a care home. It means that only the most vulnerable will be eligible for a place in a care home".
Barchester health care - the UK's third largest provider and the provider building the most new care homes, said on Radio 4 this morning: "Increasingly highly dependent clients are left at home. We feel this leaves them socially isolated and doesn't meet their care needs".