Providers say they will take fewer publicly-funded placements as staff costs continue to climb
Provider representative body Care England has published results of its survey on pay, and says the finding affirm the fragility of the system owing to
inadequate and unsustainable fees from local authorities.
Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said the survey made it clear that providers were expecting higher staffing costs and falling profits whilst demand continued to increase.
“In order to manage this, providers are anticipating fewer local authority placements while investing in technology and services to respond to demand,” said Prof. Green.
“The sector can and must adapt, but dynamics are shifting and unless local authorities pay the commensurate rate to providers there will be a lack of capacity for local authority funded residents and the ongoing workforce challenges will not be addressed.”
- 96% of providers expected their overall staffing budget to increase this year and all expected further increases over the next three years to keep pace with demand. Staffing budgets make up the bulk of costs for providers.
- Only 10% of providers expected profit margins to increase in 2017/18 and this slightly increased to 15% projecting an increase in profit over the next three years. Conversely 55% of providers were projecting a fall in profits up to 2020.
- As a consequence providers were projecting a decrease in the number of local authority placements taken on, with 32% projecting a decrease in placements accepted in 2017/18 which increased to 45% of providers projecting to take on less local authority placements over the next three years.
Prof Green said providers were realising the potential of technology in order to streamline their businesses and reduce the demand for staff.