Call to expand housing-with-care provision

November 17, 2021

The Putting the 'care' in Housing-with-Care report, published by ARCO (Associated Retirement Community Operators), says care can be provided more 'effectively and efficiently' in Integrated Retirement Communities.

The report compares the care and support requirements of people living in Integrated Retirement Communities with those living in dispersed family homes. The report calculates that, for a typical Integrated Retirement Community with 200 people living there, 16 fewer care staff are needed than if the same levels of care were provided in the wider community – freeing up staff to provide care to those who need it elsewhere.

ARCO says that if the sector achieves its Vision 2030 of 250,000 over-65s living in an Integrated Retirement Community by the end of the decade, 20,000 fewer care staff will be required – rising to 60,000 if the UK matches New Zealand, Australia and the US by having 6% of over-65s living in an Integrated Retirement Community.

The findings come after charity Skills for Care recently estimated that 490,000 additional social care staff would be required by 2035, if current trends in the growth of the over-65 population continue.

As well as highlighting the important role that Integrated Retirement Communities have in tackling these workforce challenges, the new report by ARCO finds that care quality in Integrated Retirement Communities stands well above average. 97% of the domiciliary care agencies run by ARCO’s Members in Integrated Retirement Communities are rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), compared to 88% of domiciliary care agencies more widely.

The report highlights the urgent need to expand the provision of Integrated Retirement Communities in the UK. ARCO is also calling on the Government to act quickly to set up the cross-department task force on housing-with-care that it says it is considering, and to include measures to expand housing-with-care in the forthcoming social care White Paper.

Michael Voges, Executive Director of ARCO, said, ‘Our country is facing huge workforce challenges in social care, and if a sector can provide high-quality care with tens of thousands fewer staff, we should be doing everything we can to boost that sector and free up staff to so desperately needed by other parts of the social care system.

‘That is why we are calling on the Government to include strong commitments to increase Integrated Retirement Communities in the social care White Paper, and to set up a cross-department task force on housing-with-care as soon as possible. We simply cannot afford not to.’

Natalie Reed, Interim Head of Inspection at the Care Quality Commission, said, ‘It is vitally important that throughout the social care system we strive towards the highest quality of care, so I am pleased that this report demonstrates the vast majority of care agencies run by ARCO’s members are rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.

‘We look forward to continuing our work with ARCO and the Integrated Retirement Community sector to achieve the best standards of care going forward.’

Visit the ARCO website to read the report in full.

In other news, Care leaders are calling on the Government to award and fund a £1,000 winter bonus for social care workers in England.


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