Funding gap within care home market may see string of care home closures

 LONDON Dec 1: Britain's care home market is grappling with an unsustainable £1billion a year funding gap that could spark a string of closures, it was claimed today.

Resident fees paid by councils are failing to meet care home costs, causing a significant shortfall and ramping up prices for those paying for private care.
Fees of private care home residents were 40 per cent higher on average than the amount paid by councils - the equivalent of £12,000 a year, a watchdog said.
As part of its probe, the Competition & Markets Authority said it may take a number of care homes to court in a clampdown on those charging families for 'extended periods' of up to a month after a resident has died, or demanding unfair upfront fees.
CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said:'Care homes provide a vital service to some of the most vulnerable people in society.
'However, the simple truth is that the system cannot continue to provide the essential care people need with the current level of funding.
'Without substantial reform to the way that councils pay and commission care, and greater confidence that the costs of providing care will be covered, the UK also won't be able to meet the growing needs of its ageing population.'
The care home sector covers 430,000 residents and stretches across 11,300 homes in the UK.