‘More than one in five care home beds in England unfilled’
More than a fifth of care home beds in England are unfilled, according to new estimates.
The number of care home residents has fallen by around 8% since before the pandemic, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest.
There were an estimated 360,792 care home residents, occupying 77.8% of care home beds, between March 1 2021 to February 28 2022.
Of these, 34.9% (125,954 residents) were paying for some or all of their care, with the remainder funded by the state.
Between August 2019 and March 2020, the ONS estimated there were 391,927 care home residents occupying 84.7% of beds.
Of these, 36.7% (143,774) were estimated to be self-funding.
The ONS said: “This is similar to the proportion of self- and state-funded care home residents seen before the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, although the overall care home resident population and occupancy has decreased.”
Bed occupancy decreased by 6.9 percentage points, with 22.2% of beds unfilled in the latest period.
The ONS analysed data from care homes for adults of all ages collected by the Care Quality Commission, covering more than two-thirds (68.6%) of homes.
This is a significant increase from 39.1% of care homes that the last data set covered.
People classed as self-funders were either paying for their own care privately or had their care provided by a charity, while some may also have been receiving some NHS-funded care.
Although the proportion of care home residents self-funding their care was similar to pre-pandemic estimates, the number of self-funders fell by 12.3%.Published: by Radio NewsHub