Homecare, care homes, local authorities and market forces
|By Simon Alcock| It is certainly true that the number of care home places is falling and that some care homes are closing, but does this really constitute a crisis, or is it an inevitable correction of market capacity following a reduction in demand? While there are demands that the Government set a national rate at what is determined to be a “fair rate” for care, it must also be acknowledged that the care home market is a fragmented one with a plurality of providers. Some operate efficiently and some do not Â some provide a high quality service and others provide a less high quality service. The GovernmentÂ¹s primary concern should be to further the interests of those who need care. Some organisations believe that unwillingness by local authorities to increase care home fees is leading to the closure of homes, thus creating a shortage of places for those people who need residential care. But does the evidence support this? The reduction in care home places began around 1995/6 and has continued ever since.