David Heath MP, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Somerton and Frome
David Heath MP: home page David Heath MP: contact David Heath MP: surgeries David Heath MP: news David Heath MP: Somerton and Frome constituency David Heath MP: my biography
Constituency office: 14 Catherine Hill, Frome, Somerset, BA11 1BZ. Tel: 01373 473618
spacer home > news > survey
spacer Photo of David Heath MP spacer
blank latest news
blank news archive
blank weekly diary
arrow survey
blank visits
blank photos
blank campaigns
blank speeches
blank annual report
blank eye health
Care home survey

Page 2 of 4     < Back     Next >


The Care home sector has been struggling with a number of problems over the last few years, and is set to face new challenges with the implementation of the Care Standards Act.

The root cause of the pressures which result in many homes closing is the low levels of fees which local authorities are able to pay care homes for places. The low level of state fees has a major impact on most care homes, more so with smaller ones. The low level of homes main income stream often results in care homes being unable to compete with local businesses such as local supermarkets for staff and having to continually raise the fees they charge self-funded residents.

The costs of the National Minimum standards will be added to these concerns this year. The National Minimum standards will require many care homes to make expensive structural changes to their care homes and will most probably lead to an increase in running costs. For instance, one aspect of the Act is to require all residential care homes to make sure that 75% of their care staff must be trained to NVQ Level 2.

This survey is an attempt to quantify the costs and pressures which care homes are facing. The Government is currently piling on regulations (which, in themselves, are admirable) onto the care home sector but without giving them the resources to implement them. There has been no systematic costing of these new requirements and no link has yet been made between the increase in costs each area is facing, the level of demand, and that areas Social Services Standard Spending Assessment.

This is why it is important to try and measure the effects of the financial and bureaucratic pressures which care homes are bearing. The survey results are pretty disturbing and indicate that many small homes will be forced to close or refuse state funded placements to survive.

Page 2 of 4     < Back     Next >