Friday 19 October 2018
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Report Shows Care Home Model is Working But Cuts in Funding Could Put Access at Risk For Those Who Cannot Pay For Themselves

Demand for care home places is continuing to rise because of an ageing population and the fact that many older people with multiple health and social care needs find their quality of life is improved by 24-hour care in a residential setting, according to the Registered Nursing Home Association (RNHA).

Responding to the latest Laing & Buisson analysis revealing a 3% expansion of care home places for elderly and physically disabled people since 2006, RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell said the trend highlighted confidence in the ability of care home providers to meet the needs of one of the most vulnerable groups in the

“Despite real terms cuts in the finances available to individuals who quality for public funding of their care, and despite government policies favouring domiciliary care services, the nursing and residential care home sector is continuing to expand,” said  Mr Ursell.

He added: “Strong evidence of public satisfaction with care homes was provided only last month in a report produced by the Personal Social Services Research Unit at the University of Kent, which found that the vast majority of residents interviewed in the study felt their actual experience of living in a care home had significantly exceeded
their initial expectations and, importantly, that their overall quality of life had improved.

“What the PSSRU study shows is that, among new care home residents interviewed three or more months after moving in, around nine out of ten said their experience of living in a care home was good and five out of ten said it was very good.” The RNHA believes that, taken together, the Laing & Buisson report and the PSSRU
report underline the strength and long-term viability of the care home model. However, it says it will continue to press the government and local authorities to provide adequate funding that will enable care home providers not only to sustain but to enhance standards, particularly in staff training.

Said Mr Ursell: “What is perhaps worrying to the government about the Laing & Buisson report – or shall we say ‘should be worrying’ – is the fact that the proportion of care home residents paying all of their own costs is rising year on year and the proportion who are having all or some of their fees paid from the public purse is falling. It would be tragic if, in 10 years’ time, a further report showed that only people who could afford to pay for themselves were able to access 24-hour residential care. The government needs to act now to prevent this from happening.”