Care Homes

Health written question – answered on 2nd July 2012.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) when his Department last undertook a review of the funding of care homes for the elderly;

(2) how many care homes for the elderly have closed over the last two years.

Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow The Minister of State, Department of Health

Local councils pay for social care services for their populations, including residential care, out of their general funds, which are derived from grants from central Government and local taxation. The Department has not, therefore, reviewed the funding of care homes for older people.

Local councils are free to decide how best to contract with providers of residential care to meet the needs of their populations. The Government do not set or recommend the fee rates which local councils agree with care providers. However, councils are expected to take the cost of providing care into account when negotiating with providers.

In recognition of the pressures on the social care system in a challenging financial climate, the Government allocated an additional £7.2 billion by 2014-15 to support the delivery of social care. With an ambitious programme of efficiency, there will be enough funding available for councils to protect peoples' access to care services.

The following tables show information provided by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on numbers of care homes that de-registered during the last two financial years. The figures include all care homes; data on homes for older people are not available separately.

It should be noted that de-registration of homes is not necessarily indicative of permanent closure or of enforcement activity by the CQC. For example, a home may temporarily de-register (and subsequently re-register) whilst undergoing refurbishment, or due to its having been taken over by a different provider.

De-registration (1) of care homes
  Services Places
Registered under Care Standards Act 2000 (2)    
Residential homes 519 8,742
Nursing homes 92 3,812
Totals 611 12,554
  2010-11 2011-12
  Services Places Services Places
Registered under Health and Social Care Act 2008 (2)        
Residential homes 28 293 1,481 23,636
Nursing homes 10 40 692 32,758
Totals 38 333 2,173 56,394
(1 )De-registration of homes is not necessarily indicative of permanent closure. (2 )Until 30 September 2010, care homes were regulated under Care Standards Act 2000. From 1 October 2010, all providers were required to register under the Health and Social Care Act 2008. Source: CQC database at 7 June 2012.

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