The Long Term Care Sector

The Long Term Care Sector can be broadly divided into three areas, dealing with care of the elderly, care of those with mental health issues and care of those with a physical disability. By far the largest of these is the care of the elderly, encompassing those elderly who also fall into the other two categories. Figures for 2011 confirm that the 15 year decline in demand for care home places continues its upward trend which began in 2009, according to Laing & Buisson’s latest annual report on the UK independent care home industry. A clear shift has taken place from a falling to a growing market, with the number of independent sector residents projected to rise from circa 420,000 in 2011 to 426,000 by 2015 and to 439,000 by 2020.

Meanwhile, the public sector supply is expected to continue it’s decline in capacity and demand in independent sector care homes is projected to increase from 387,000 in 2011 to 402,000 by 2015 and 422,000 by 2020.

To add to this, the demographics throughout the UK are changing and the effect is due to continue with a projected three and a half times increase in those living in some form of residential care setting, from its current 420,000 to 1,540,000 in 2081. 

These figures are a key driver in assessing existing and future need for long term care of the elderly within a given locality. If you take the numbers forecast of increases in the retired population, this identifies a potential need by 2046 for an additional 580,000 beds, or 17,000 plus new beds per annum, which does not allow for any closures within the existing provision. 

To put this in perspective, it is only since the year to March 2009 that we have seen a net increase in the supply of places and that a modest 14,000 over three years. The capital cost of providing these additional care places by 2081 is some £73 billion at today’s prices.

The large increase in the numbers of older people who will require care within the next seventy years, as identified in the demographic forecasts, dictate that unless significant extra capacity is created, sooner rather than later, existing care provision will still be required. This will in turn dictate that a large proportion of the elderly population will have to be cared for in yesterday’s environment.

Experience and Expertise in Care

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