Care fears as homes close with little notice

Care homes are closing with as little as nine days’ notice, forcing hundreds of vulnerable residents to scramble to find somewhere to live, according to The Times newspaper.

Last year dozens of homes closed with less than three months’ notice and there are warnings that the shock of eviction could seriously harm the health of frail older people.

The Times says many ‘zombie’ homes are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy as councils force down the rates they pay for care, according to an investigation. MPs on the Commons public accounts committee condemns a key government policy to join up care as a trick to take cash from the NHS to bail out councils.

The £5 billion Better Care Fund was meant to help cut hospital admissions and get people home sooner by pooling NHS and council budgets.

However, MPs say that it has failed to achieve those objectives. Separately, figures gathered by Channel 5 News under the Freedom of Information Act found that 59 per cent of councils that responded had recorded care home closures in 2016. Of the 144 home closures, 58 happened with less than three months’ notice.

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