Providers in better position due to rigid procedures

Julian Evans, head of healthcare, Knight Frank

Care home operators are in a much stronger position to protect residents and staff and are beginning to ‘confidently’ accept new admissions.

A global healthcare update, issued by property consultant Knight Frank, said its analysis showed UK care home occupancy declined 8% in the second quarter but has since stabilised.

The update said: ‘From an infection control perspective, operators are now in a much stronger position with rigid procedures in place to protect residents and staff.’

At LaingBuisson’s virtual Social Care and Retirement Living Conference on Tuesday (13 October), Julian Evans, head of healthcare at Knight Frank, said average occupancy pre-Covid across the care home sector was just below 90% and around 81% as of last week.

He told attendees the height of the pandemic was an ‘exceptionally nervy time’ for the sector as enquiry and admission levels ‘fell off a cliff’. However, he said the health and social care sectors were ‘well-prepared’ for a second wave.

Knight Frank’s global healthcare and senior living team, spanning five continents, advises on more than £150bn of assets each year.

The global update added: ‘The UK seniors housing market has also shown resilience in the face of Covid-19. We are seeing increasing institutional investment into the sector, with investors attracted to stable inflation-linked long-term income and diversification into “beds” from more established asset classes.’