Care home occupancy in England will recover to nearly 90% between October 2022 and September 2023, according to new research looking at the projected impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Specialist care sector analysts Carterwood say they expect a “worst case” occupancy low point of 79.3% to be reached in April 2021 following 36,442 forecasted excess total elderly care home deaths during the outbreak compared to 5-year historic average.

Carterwood predicts that market standard (en-suite) bed shortfall levels across England will increase by between 48,810 and 57,841 beds by December 2024.

Ben Hartley, Carterwood founder and one of the authors of the research, says: “We are not experts in viral pandemics, but we do understand the structure of the elderly care home market and the factors that drive it and we will be providing regular updates to our forecasts over the coming months incorporating more up to date information as it becomes available. 

“This research is our starting point and has been prepared with the best information available to us at this time.  The inputs, assumptions and our forecasts will become more refined as the pandemic and its impact upon the sector and wider economy evolves.

“The encouraging conclusion is that notwithstanding the immediate and very obvious short and mid-term pressures facing care operators, over the longer term we predict a stable and resilient picture for care home demand. The long-term demographic profile will continue to drive demand and the sector has shown itself to have been remarkably resilient to material levels of bed loss over the past few decades.”


Date published: May 18, 2020

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