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The future of social care

In the past five years, 400 care homes have closed. With local authority social care spending slashed by half in just a decade, Peter Taylor-Whiffen asks how care providers can turn a profit – and help safeguard vulnerable residents.

Care home closures left nearly 2,500 elderly and vulnerable people having to find a new place to live last year. Over a six-month period, 58 councils saw residential and nursing homes go out of business.

The financial challenges of running such a business came into sharper focus in April 2019 with Four Seasons Healthcare, which runs 322 care and nursing homes across the UK, entering administration. While the provider claims that the business’s subsequent restructure and probable sale will not affect its 17,000 residents, it does illustrate the challenge of sustaining a private business model in today’s social care landscape. So why is it so difficult – and can adult social care be funded more effectively?

This is an extract from the Business & Management Magazine, Issue 276, July/August 2019.

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