Families face a critical lack of choice in arranging care, new Which? research shows. It’s survey found that nearly half (48%) of people who had arranged care for themselves or a loved one in a care home said there weren’t any places in at least one of the local places they considered.
Half of those who need a care place are also having to wait for a bed.
This highlights a worrying trend of people not being able to find suitable local care provision. Which? also recently revealed that almost nine in 10 council areas across England could see a shortfall in care home places by 2022 unless urgent action is taken.
Local care home provision is lacking A lack of good local care places means that many people are staying in, or moving loved ones into, care homes they aren’t satisfied with, our research found. Almost one in five people (17%) told us they had settled for a care home that they had reservations about. A similar number (16%) opted for a home away from friends and family.
When they did find a bed, 25% of care arrangers said they were left feeling guilty or annoyed that they couldn’t find a more suitable care home.
Responding to Which? research, Cllr Linda Thomas, Vice Chair of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“Councils are committed to ensuring that people have access to good quality care. But this is being put at risk by the severe funding pressures faced by social care services.
“An increasing number of care homes are closing and care providers are handing back their council contracts because of cost pressures. We have warned that £1.3 billion is needed right now just to stabilise the perilously fragile care provider market.
“Overall social care faces an annual funding gap of £2.3 billion by 2020. Unless social care is properly funded, the standard of care for elderly and vulnerable people is at risk.
“It is vital that the Government sets out in the Autumn Budget how it will address the immediate social care crisis and deliver long-lasting reform that meets the needs of adults of all ages needing social care.”