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Agency costs double across GB, as care homes feel staffing pinch

Care home agency costs have doubled since 2021, new data for 2022 shows.

Compiled by Carterwood, the care home statistics show that the average cost per care home bed in Q3 2022 in Great Britain was £445 – over twice that of the Q3 2021 figure due to a staffing crisis across the sector.

However, on the plus side, average occupancy – which sat at 84.2 per cent in Q3 2022 – is up from 78.4 per cent in Q1 2021). In addition, the average weekly fee (from all funding sources) has risen by almost £100 between 2021-22 – from £895 in Q1 2021 to £981 in Q3 2022. Self-funders now account for 40 per cent of all funding – up from 37 per cent in Q1 2021 and Q3 2023 – due to care operators switching focus away from local authority to self funding referrals.

Tom Hartley, managing director of Carterwood, said: “While occupancy in the market is still below pre-pandemic levels, increases in average weekly fee and self-funded referrals mean that incomes across the sector are in robust shape.”

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