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  1. ITV Report

Care home industry left vulnerable by rising costs and empty beds

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn

Vulnerability and care homes go hand in hand.

Residents are the primary concern but many homes are financially vulnerable, too, and right now they feel particularly exposed.

On Anglesey the costs are spiralling, and in a sector that operates on a knife edge at the best of times it's worrying.

So far they've kept Covid-19 out of this home but the measures they're taking are costly.

In Wales, on average, anything less than 85% occupancy leads to losses and with some homes well below that the industry fear many homes will go bust.

Mario Kreft from Care Forum Wales told ITV News: “There are a lot very small care homes that simply cannot take this tsunami of rising costs, this reduction in their occupancy and still, at the same time, keep providing this valuable human resource.

State funding pays homes less than privately funded residents.. that reduces income and adds to the stress on the business

Mark Bailey runs five nursing homes in North Wales and struggles to balance the books.

"It's the future that’s the concern," Mr Bailey told ITV News.

"It wouldn’t take much to knock us into a place where we couldn’t cope."

The sector is calling on the Government to commit to a long term plan.

"Coronavirus will have had a profound impact on the sector and its long-term viability," says Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford.

They are integral to society but care homes do come at a cost.

If they start to fail the cost could be more than just financial.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know