Government response to the CMA care homes market study

March 6, 2018

The Government has published its response to the CMA care homes market study which was released late last year. It has accepted or accepted in principle all the recommendations.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) spent a year studying the 11,000 plus residential care and nursing homes that offer support to older people in the UK.

The in-depth examination explored what it was like to both provide this service and to use the service, as a resident or family member of someone living in such a home. It published its findings in November 2017.

The Department of Health and Social Care has now published its response to the CMA's recommendations.

It says that, 'The CMA identified two broad concerns about the care homes market. Firstly, that those requiring care need greater support in choosing a care home and greater protections when they are resident. Secondly, that the current model of service provision cannot be sustained and that the sector is not positioned to attract investment to meet future needs.'

The recommendations have been grouped thematically in the response as:

  • Capacity: to ensure that planning is sufficiently good quality to provide confidence that the capacity will be in place to meet future need.
  • Consumer protection: to improve compliance and ensure consumers are better protected when choosing a care home and when resident.
  • Consumer information: to improve the way in which people interact with care homes.

The Government has accepted or accepted in principle all the individual recommendations made by the CMA in each group. It has issued a response to each recommendation in the response document.

Regarding the next steps, the Government says that it, 'Will publish a Green Paper by summer 2018, setting out plans for improving care and support for older people and how to tackle the challenge of an ageing population.

'The CMA’s findings about how the care home market is operating are a critical contribution to the Green Paper, particularly in relation to the sustainability of current arrangements. Ahead of the Green Paper, we will continue to work with the CMA and the adult social care sector to implement the CMA’s recommendations to improve consumer information and protections.'

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