Care home analysts Carterwood has launched an online platform that provides up-to-date occupancy, fee, funding mix, and staff cost data.
Carterwood Collab aims to offer a picture of current and historic trading performance of care homes for older people across Great Britain.
‘This aggregated and anonymised data will help improve decision-making across the sector, powering market analysis and benchmarking with real trading data,’ said Tom Hartley, managing director of Carterwood.
The platform provides trading data at national, regional, and local levels, as well as offering users to customise parts of the market for benchmarking.
At a Great Britain level, its data reveals agency costs have increased over the past two years, with average cost per bed in Q3 2022 (£445) over double what it was in Q3 2021 (£222). This is a reflection of the staffing crisis across the sector, which when combined with inflationary cost-pressures from energy and food bills, has created a challenging trading environment for operators. This is likely to continue given the impact of the national living wage rise in April, Carterwood said.
Its data also showed average occupancy sat at 84.2% in Q3 2022 (up from 78.4% in Q1 2021), while weekly fee – from all funding sources – rose almost £100, from £895 in Q1 2021 to £981 in Q3 2022, driven primarily by uplifts in self-funded fee rates in response to severe staffing, utility, and general inflationary cost-pressures.
Self-funders account for an increasingly bigger share of overall funding mix within care homes, rising from 37% to 40% between Q1 2021 and Q3 2023, it said.
The platform provides insight into metrics at a local, regional, and national level, with the ability to generate reports and track the performance of individual care home markets.
Professor Vic Rayner, chief executive officer for National Care Forum, said: ‘Access to accurate and up-to-date data is a hugely powerful tool.
‘Collab represents a really valuable contribution to the whole ability of social care providers to make sensible decisions about the development of new services that will meet community needs. By facilitating the sector to work together on this project, Collab shows that we really can be stronger together.’