In February Care England wrote to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, encouraging him to put in place a system of occupancy strategy in the care home sector to support its future sustainability.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, explained that, “Decreased occupancy rates in the adult social care sector have had an adverse impact upon adult social care provider sustainability. Decreased occupancy rates have, in turn, increased care costs per head. This is at a time when care providers have been confronted by an array of COVID-19 related costs”.
Care England has also written to every Director of Adult Social Care in the country regarding fee rates, and the need to work in partnership with providers to ensure the best means of recovery in conjunction with quality care with those in need.
The majority of care providers’ costs are fixed, including increased staffing, and these costs will have to continue to be met despite significant drops in income caused by lower occupancy. The financial pressures will therefore continue into and beyond this forthcoming financial year.
In his letter, Martin Green continued, "An occupancy strategy would be a very effective way of increasing the sustainability of the adult social care sector in the coming weeks and months. This is of fundamental importance given the role which adult social care has, and continues, to play in England’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic”.
A the time of writing, Care England had not received a response from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.