Review highlights problems
Nursing and residential home care remains by far the biggest sector of the independent health and community industry, with a 1998 revenue of Â£6.4 billion. However, according to Laing’s Healthcare Market Review, published in late December, the sector continues to suffer from severe pressure on margins as local authorities adjust their baseline fee rates by less than inflation, and as care home operators struggle to meet higher costs caused mainly by staffing shortages and the need to employ agency staff. The Review says that, on the bright side, care home operators are benefiting from gradually increasing self pay demand, where fees are typically Â£20-40 per week higher than the fees local authorities are willing to pay for the same type of room. In the medium to long term, operators with good quality care home properties may also benefit from lower interest rates as Britain falls into line with Europe.