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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

All is not well in the Care Industry - why depends on your politics

Isn't strange that an industry that has the most predictable of markets (provision of older care) has got itself into such a mess.

Like intergenerational equity it is a Xmas Tree subject that everybody can hang their political prejudices onto to explain the problem and hazard a guess at the answer.

The UK's Independent Newspaper has 'done some research' about the levels of debt in the UK Care Industry. The figures are high and the financial stability of many care providers is shaky (to put it mildly). None of this is news. Anybody who has studied the industry could have told the newspaper that 3-4 years ago.

The fundamental problem is that local authorities (in the UK these are the state organisations that fund care) are not spending enough money. Now if you do that to a company it means that its finances deteriorate, along with the quality of care it provides and eventually it fails. If instead the state runs the care facilities themselves they deteriorate even faster -as does the quality of care they deliver. 

The fundamental problem is that not enough money is being spent on care provision. Local authorities have seen it as an easy option to cut and then blame it all on the providers. 

The outcome of this is that the provision of private funded care will increasingly separate from that linked to the state. The former will provide decent care the quality in the latter will increasingly decline. As a care provider I know where I would be putting my money. Dick Stroud

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