A recent edition of Radio 4's The Bottom Line debated the issues affecting the local authority-funded care home industry (funding pressures, increased regulatory scrutiny, the impact of the living wage, lack of capacity and so on). Each participant offered interesting thoughts on potential solutions.

I think there is merit in the government establishing a Royal Commission (or something similar) that has wide and deep scope to look at the sector properly and which asks key questions such as:

  • How can more money be made available for the sector?
  • Can insurance products be made readily available?
  • How can the industry become more productive? 
  • How can technology be more effectively deployed?
  • How do local authorities and the NHS work together more closely?
  • What can be learnt from other countries?
  • How can the social housing sector help?

None of these questions are new and there have already been numerous industry studies before. However, the demographics are driving the industry towards crisis and answers need to be found quickly.