50% beds shortfall in North-East by 2010?
A media survey in the North East has shown that the impending crisis in the care home sector could be so acute that more than 20,000 pensioners in the area could be denied residential care in the next eight years. An investigation by the Journal newspaper in Newcastle said there would be twice as many elderly people needing residential, nursing and full-time care in 2010 than there would be beds in the region. In less than a decade it is predicted that about 40,000 elderly people in the North-East and Cumbria would need residential care Â 10,000 more than today Â but the financial crisis in the care sector meant that both council and privately-owned care homes were closing faster than new ones are opening. As a result, there was unlikely to be more than 20,000 care home beds available to accommodate them. Dr Andy Pike, a researcher at the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies at the University of Newcastle and author of A Crisis in Residential Care said the pressures on residential care were par