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The 32nd edition of LaingBuisson’s Care Homes for Older People UK Market Report is indispensable reading for advisors, investors, commissioners, policymakers and service providers involved in this dynamic and changing market.
Published in March 2022, the report offers a backward view over the impact of the Covid pandemic. Loss of income from reduced occupancy continues to affect the sector, and occupancy is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023. As a silver lining, NHSX is sufficiently convinced of the need for the digitisation of care homes following the pandemic that it seems likely to make NHS funding available.
Social care reform is the sector’s next major challenge, in particular the implementation of Clause 18(3) of the Care Act 2014 and the Fair Cost of Care. These elements of the reforms are likely to reverse the trend to private pay driven by a growth in personal wealth – and which has been cross-subsidising publicly funded care home places. While popular politically, these reforms are likely to be highly disruptive to the care home market. Finding the balance between the state and the individual will be delicate.
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