The living wage will force care homes to close, bosses warn

Patient and nurse - Care homes will be forced to close - SantanderCB

Care homes will be forced to close because of government plans to introduce a national living wage, five major providers have warned in a letter to Chancellor George Osborne. The care home companies predicted that a major provider is likely to fail within 12 months to two years because of the changes. Under plans announced in the Budget, workers aged over 25 will be paid a minimum of £7.20 an hour, rising to £9 by 2020. This increase would cost the sector an extra £1bn a year by 2020, claimed the care providers. A collapse in one of the major providers could lead to many elderly patients being forced to seek support on the NHS. This would stretch the NHS far beyond the challenges imposed by events such as seasonal flu outbreaks or pressure on beds during winter. A government spokesperson responded to the letter from Four Seasons Health Care, Bupa UK, HC-One, Care UK and Barchester, saying: 'The overall costs of providing social care will be considered as part of the Spending Review later this year and we are working with the care sector to understand how the changes will affect them.'


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