The Government needs to spend an additional £1bn each year on care homes if a crisis is to be averted, according to a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
It suggests that hospitals will come under greater pressure and older people will suffer emotional and financial distress unless the care home budget is increased.
The report – which includes a new “toolkit” that local authorities can use to calculate a fair price for publicly funded places in privately run homes – is set against the background of increasing closures in the past five years and a lack of investment in new homes catering for state funded clients.
Local funding crises and shortages have led to bed blocking, where elderly patients cannot be discharged from NHS hospitals because residential places are not available. Older people and their relatives have also come under increased pressure to pay top-up fees to care home providers.