Care homes in the East Riding ‘failing to keep up with ageing population’

In the East Riding of Yorkshire, there are 10 care home beds for every 100 older residents.
In the East Riding of Yorkshire, there are 10 care home beds for every 100 older residents.

Care homes in the East Riding of Yorkshire are failing to keep up with an ageing population, new analysis shows.

Charity Age UK has warned of emerging “care deserts” in parts of the country, leaving older people without access to proper care.

The number of people aged 75 and older in the East Riding has grown by 12% over the last five years, rising from 35,700 in 2014 to an estimated 40,100 today.

But analysis of Care Quality Commission data shows that the number of beds in care homes increased by just 1.5% over the same period. Today, there are 4,000 care home beds in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Across England, the number of beds has increased by 1.4%, rising to 407,058.

But 75 local authority areas have lost almost 10,000 beds between them, prompting concerns about regional inequalities across the adult social care sector.

Retirement mortgage company Responsible Life, which produced the research, said the results reveal “a postcode lottery unfolding”.

Managing director Steve Wilkie said: “If this trend isn’t reversed, it is going to get even tougher to access care in certain areas in the coming years.

“For some, it will mean a lack of availability, and subsequently higher costs, and will force them to delay accessing the right care at the right time. Others may feel they are better off financially paying for assistance at home.”

The availability of beds in care homes varies considerably in different parts of England, according to Responsible Life’s analysis.

Middlesbrough, in the North East, has the best, with 15.6 care home beds for every 100 residents aged 75 and older, while Westminster has the worst at just 2.5.

In the East Riding, there are 10 care home beds for every 100 older residents. The national average is 8.5.

Age UK has criticised Government handling of adult social care, and said the system is “chaotic and broken” after years of underfunding.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it would set out plans to reform the social care system “at the earliest opportunity”.

A spokesperson said: “People must have access to high quality care that meets their needs. Local authorities have a duty to ensure people receive appropriate care and support.

“We have given them access to up to £3.9 billion more dedicated funding for adult social care this year, and a further £410 million is available for adults and children’s services.”