WHAT DID THE CMA REPORT SAY ABOUT THE CARE HOME MARKET?
Whilst referencing funding pressures in so far as they impact upon the market's ability to meet future demand, initial findings seem to focus more on short comings of care homes
The findings highlight the following concerns:
- People are struggling to get the information they need to make informed decisions about care
- Complaints procedures are not functioning well
- Some care homes may not treat residents fairly and certain practices and contract terms may break consumer law
- The sector is not in a good position to attract the necessary investment needed to build for the future.
Looking in more detail, it's important that care providers don't get that sense of being persecuted.
If some care homes are in breach of consumer law then that must be fixed; that is their individual responsibility. Similarly it's up to individual providers to engage with stakeholders to make sure that their complaints processes are transparent and robust. See 'Love Your Complaints'.
But it is hard to see how a distributed market of diverse providers can take responsibility for points 1 and 2.
The Care Act puts responsibilities for market information onto Local Authorities. Are they the organisations to have this? If you process map the care journey, it is the health sector which has all of the points of contact for individuals as they step further and further away from independence. This is where that body of knowledge and responsibility for signposting best resides, whoever has the responsibility for bringing it together.
And as for funding and investment? Firstly the care sector is not just care homes as increasingly care is undertaken in the community, so further work is needs to look at the whole. All in all, right now, t's the house that Jack built, or the first little piggy's straw house; the huffs and puffs of the growing demand are going to blow this old house down! See response from Len Collacott, chair of C&SW