Now that Theresa May has lost her majority in parliament, one presumes that social care policy reforms will once again be conveniently shelved until another election comes around. Sir Andrew Dilnot first put forward his recommendations for the Funding of Care back in 2011, and while receiving a favourable reception from both major political parties, they look destined to gather dust for some time yet. A shameful waste.
Then, only days after the election result came news that the number of EU citizens applying for nursing jobs in the UK has crashed from over 1,100 in April 2016 to a paltry 46 in April 2017. Assuming that this is going to be a long term trend, driven by the fear and impending reality of Brexit, one wonders what the impact will be on the NHS and indeed in the care home sector. The growing shortage of nurses has already resulted in the closure of significant numbers of homes and the de-registration of nursing beds in other homes, losses in capacity that will hamper the ability of people to find appropriate care in the future.
All this is made worse by the news the following day that inflation is now running at 2.9%, compared to just 0.3% a year ago.
So what will this all mean for people in care homes, or needing one in the foreseeable future? A�Well, fewer nurses clearly and, by implication, fewer homes in due course. Whilst that alone will have the effect of pushing care home fees higher, the pressure to increase prices will be even further exacerbated by rising inflation.
So Care Home Findera��s advice is to look to negotiate zero or low fee increases at the outset a�� something we advise as a matter of course when we are helping our clients to find the right care home.