Why are so many DCC beds not used?
We have had to reduce the number of beds we operate at the homes to maintain the level of staff to residents ratio required to meet Care Quality Commission regulations.
Many of the homes were not built to be care homes so the design and layout does meet the needs of residents in a cost effective way. So, for example, we have buildings with separate wings, separate floors, small numbers of bedrooms in any one area where we need to maintain good staffing levels. This leads to additional staffing costs – significantly so in a number of our homes.
We have tried to reduce costs in the past, however the CQC was critical of the staff to resident ratios, these did not reflect those achieved by the independent sector. So we have a choice, put more staff in or reduce the number of beds that can be supported.
We do not have more staff available within the budget for the homes to open more beds, and if we had then the staffing costs would also increase so our costs would stay high compared to the beds we can purchase in the independent sector.
We changed the number of operational beds in each home to one that we can safely support with the staff group of the home.