- First NatWest Healthcare Benchmarking report charting fee rates, occupancy energy spend, buildings and technology
- Data from over 1,200 SME care homes analysed
- Energy costs biggest expense after staffing
Care homes across the UK could be missing out on opportunities to increase profits and make significant savings according to NatWest’s Care Home Benchmarking Report.
The report, released today (Wednesday, October 7), is the first to be produced by the bank’s specialist Healthcare team.
It looks to support SME care home businesses in identifying their performance in comparison to their peers, as well as potential ways to save money – or generate more.
Neil Garton, Head of Healthcare at NatWest, said: “Contrasting results from around the country show that there are many opportunities for care homes to either increase their profitability or make significant cost savings. This can be done through upgrades, renovations, or by improving their energy efficiency.
“When looking at fee rates, parts of the country are doing very well at the moment, but there are regions of England in particular where fee rates are lower than you’d expect.
“This is often because some care homes are more reliant on local authority clients than on private fee-payers. The local authority rates are broadly similar across the country, so our results show a clear opportunity to make greater profits by attracting higher-fee-paying private clients.
“Care homes that have good locations but don’t have high occupancy levels or modern facilities, such as en-suites, should look at whether they can invest in upgrading their facilities to get closer to full occupancy and attract more private clients.
“Energy use is another area that requires some attention. Surprisingly, only a small number of homes are taking advantage of renewable energy and energy saving technology, which could have a significant impact on their day-to-day running costs.”
The report includes the performance of over 1,200 care homes across England, Scotland and Wales, analysing data on fee rates and occupancy as well as energy spend, buildings and technology.
Energy stood out as the second most significant cost for care homes – behind staff.
Neil added: “I’m delighted with the launch of our first benchmarking report for care homes. I hope it can be of real value to businesses in charting their performance and progress against their peers.
“On the whole, the SME care-home market is in good shape. Compared with corporate rivals, the quality of care is every bit as good. However, SMEs might struggle on cost-efficiency, long-term strategy and upgrading facilities owing to a lack of time and cash