CARE HOMES FACING LONG ROAD TO RECOVERY
Over the past few years the vast majority of businesses have experienced almost 100% increases in their energy bills, no more so than the care sector.
In their quest to keep residents warm especially during the winter months a typical facility of 50 residents would cost in the region of £50,000 annually on gas and electricity.
In a report by Warm Front Limited Melanie Weatherby, co-chair of the Care Association Alliance was quoted as saying “It could be the straw that breaks the camel's back” in reference to the incredible price hikes during this time.
Also Nadra Ahmed, executive chair of the National Care Association voiced concern for the sector. “Energy price crisis will make some providers feel they are unsustainable.”
“We can’t turn [heating] off,” she said. “We need it running all the time. I think the impact is going to be substantial, especially through the winter months.”
Business energy prices are predicted to grow by a further 30% over the next five years
Small operators were already facing 1 17% increase in gas costs and a further 20% increase the following year. The care sector was saying that unless public funding for care homes was not increased a large number of care providers would struggle to keep their doors open in the long term.
The sector was pleading for assistance and without an increase in funding, operators will face big decisions whether to burn money or take the difficult option of closing the doors for good.
Six of the largest not-for-profit care operators who care for about 95,000 older people expressed their concern to the government over the impact the energy crisis was having on the sector. MHA, Anchor, Hanover, Sanctuary, the Orders of St John Care Trust and the NCF all contacted the government for support and guidance.
Nicola Richards, who represents care homes in Sheffield, asked: “Where and how do you recover the cost [of utility price hikes] because we don’t have a surplus of money to put into the light and heat.
The energy crisis has impacted the care sector immensely over the past few years
She went on to say that care homes within the Yorkshire region were cutting staff, scrapping maintenance projects and cancelling entertainers. In order to keep the heating on it was a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Energy is typically one of the largest overheads so looking at ways of maintaining the standards of comfort and care within the care home are a major priority. According to a recent CBI survey, business energy prices are predicted to continue growing by possibly 30% over the next five years. So, the sector is looking at different ways of enterprise of all types in order to be more energy efficient.
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