Problems with bed shortages have reached an all time high. In a bid to alleviate a serious bed shortage Halton Council has purchased two new care homes. A report from the board showed that the current level of care is not sustainable. Vacancy rates are at five per cent which is worse than the national average, which is about 10 per cent. Talks have also started about developing a former homeless shelter into a nursing home, with hopes that this will increase capacity.

This news should come as no surprise to people within the health and social care sector. Research showed us late last year that nine in ten areas in the UK will have a shortage of care home beds within five years. This report also predicted that eight local authorities will already have fewer places than needed in 2017, with this figure growing to 39 in 2019 and to 130 out of 150 in 2022.

As the population grows and people live longer, we would expect these numbers to increase over time. The NHS have already suggested renting spare rooms in their hospitals to ease the bed crisis.

Problems with bed shortages as well as the recent news that one in six care homes in the UK are showing signs they are at risk of failure, doesn’t paint a pretty picture for the future of care homes.

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