Severe shortage of beds in care homes in the UK could spell disaster


iStock_000016132671XSmallA BBC research has revealed disturbing information regarding the state of care homes in the UK. The research revealed that a significant shortage for bed space in care homes is sweeping the nation with up to 3,000 elderly people predicted to not be able to get beds in UK care homes by the end of next year. The number is said to go up to 70,000 in the next 9 years.

The Department of Health said local authorities in England had been given an extra £2bn to help fund social care. But in the past three years one in 20 UK care home beds has closed, and research suggests not enough are being added to fill the gap.

Lead researcher James Kingdom said: “We’re currently building half the number of care home beds every year that we need.”

“There are more people living longer.

“We know that over the course of the next decade there is going to be 2.5 million more over-65s, and as a result that means there is going to be demand for care home beds.

“To fix that, we need to double the rate of delivery”.

The third largest care provider in the UK, Barchester health care also voiced its concern regarding the gap in capacity which meant extremely vulnerable people are not getting the care they need.

Chief executive Pete Calveley commented: “Increasingly, highly dependent people are left at home.

“We feel that leaves them socially isolated and doesn’t meet their needs.

“So, one of the ways they reduce demand is by raising the criteria, which I don’t think is always appropriate.”

In the past three years, 21,500 care beds have closed in the UK.

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