Staffing shortages the number one problem for care home operators


Staffing issues are the number one challenge facing care home operators, according to a new report by global property adviser, Knight Frank.

The latest UK Care Homes Trading Performance Review 2019 says many care home operators are increasingly reliant on agency staff due to difficulty in attracting qualified nurses and carers at competitive rates in the UK.

Julian Evans, Head of Healthcare, Knight Frank, (pictured) said: “Demand for elderly care beds remains robust in the UK, however, staffing continues to be the main issue of concern in the industry, with many providers affected by the social care funding crisis.

“The shortage of nurses is a huge concern, given the demand for specialised nursing care, such as dementia, has never been greater. A comprehensive solution is needed to address this and increase the number of registered nurses available to the care sector.”

The report says average staff costs have increased by 50% over the last 10 years due to the rise in the National Living Wage. Knight Frank said the extra costs were directly affecting care home providers’ bottom line with average profit margins down by 0.9% in the last year and down by 5% over the last 10 years.

The Knight Frank care home index reveals extra staff costs and increasing medical costs contributed to an 8% rise in average weekly care home fees in the last 12 months.

Knight Frank’s report also shows average capex rose by 15% to reach £1,644 per bed in 2018/19 compared with £1,430 in 2017/18.

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