Mixed messages as an extraordinary market sustains marginal operators

Posted on February 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

|By Ian Wilkie, director, GLP| Dr Richard Hawkins¹ insightful comment in the March issue of Caring Times highlighted the dichotomy in today¹s long-term care sector by asking why so many investors are seeking to increase their stake in the sector when operators are still bemoaning poor trading conditions. It is a fact that at the centre of operator complaints remains the thorny issue of local authority funding levels. This has once again been pushed to centre-stage by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigation into the long term care sector, prompted by demands for a review from the Consumers¹ Association (CA) and 28 charities. The fact that the CA, and the charities involved, may be disappointed by the Hutton-esque remit adopted by the OFT does not remove the central issue of fee levels being a major influencing factor on current market conditions. The fact of the matter is that in a “free market”, when an operator is able to command fees, whether through top-ups or privately funded clients, which are

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