A great many care and nursing homes in England were already in a “perilous state” well before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus due to a decade of government-imposed austerity resulting in around £8 billion of cuts from social care budges, explains a care home provider based in Yorkshire.
Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Homes Group (ICG), explains why many care and nursing homes in England and Wales were already on shaky ground, financially speaking, even before the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Padgham runs four separate care homes as well as provides voluntary support and representation to other providers via the ICG.
Sputnik: You have been warning of care and nursing homes “closing in the wake” of the COVID-19 pandemic. Why do you think that’s a real possibility?
Michael Padgham: We have been warning for many years that due to chronic Government under-funding, the social care sector was in a perilous state, even before coronavirus came knocking. Some £8 billion has been cut from social care budgets since 2010, leaving many providers in real difficulties, with some homes already closing and homecare providers handing back contracts.
Coronavirus has brutally exposed and exacerbated the sorry state of the social care sector and we have been calling for greater financial help for front line care providers, to help them survive.
Due to COVID-19, homes are facing falling occupancy rates and rapidly rising costs – for example, on personal protective equipment (PPE), staffing costs and sickness cover.
For some, I fear, this could be the crisis that finally tips them over the edge and out of business. We are already seeing some closures.
Sputnik: What are the consequences – for providers, residents and society at large – if care and nursing homes start to close?
Michael Padgham: The loss of any care provider – large or small – is dreadful. It is always awful for residents, their relatives and the staff involved. Click the link below to read the full article: