Over the last few weeks a storm has been brewing in Pembrokeshire over the funding for care homes. The issue that is being raised throws up several important questions, but there is a long term issue which will have to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Once again the reason for the business failing (as with several other recent care home business failures) is deemed to be lack of income from the local authority. However funding can only get worse in years to come as a combination of an ageing population and spending cuts begin to bite.
The truth is that many of the care homes in Wales are simply not suitable. They are too small and are buildings which are not ideal for being effective care homes. This is often the reason that the businesses that run them are failing and it is not the fault of the local authority. If we wish to ensure that we have high quality care homes for the future we need to start to plan the building of larger purpose built homes now.
I have huge sympathy for the residents and I hope that all concerned work hard to ensure that their care is maintained during the difficult period that the company in question is facing.
However government, local authorities and those involved in the sector need to begin to plan for the future as we cannot expect councils to be bailing out failing businesses through higher fees in the years to come.