Skip main navigation

Hurry, only 3 days left to get one year of Unlimited learning for £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

A world without care homes

What would happen if there were no care homes?

In the UK the term “care home” commonly refers both to residential care homes and nursing homes.

While nursing homes employ registered nurses, care homes now increasingly care for older people with highly complex needs and significant physical dependence, disability, or cognitive impairment.

The Institute of Public Care in 2017 found that the average size of newly opened care homes (37 places) was greater than in those that closed (29), so the overall number of places for older residents increased by 4%, from 387 485 to 404 163.

Yet potential demand has outstripped this expansion, as the number of citizens aged over 85 increased by 16%

On average, registered nurses in nursing homes for older people have a turnover rate of 32.7%

Compared to social workers and occupational therapists the turnover of registered nurses in adult social care is higher. The risk is increased that care homes de-register from nursing homes to residential care homes because they cannot recruit and retain nurses.

Care homes form a sector at the heart of the health and social care system and yet report after report suggests that without investment, there will be a projected loss of 37,000 beds over the next three to five years. Part of this investment should be in attracting registered nurses into care homes.

Looking to the future, the sector will continue to grow. There is a need for a whole system approach, to promote partnership working between providers from health, social care and other third sector organisations (e.g. Alzheimer’s Society, MIND and Age UK) to understand the full patient journey, including the nurses’ contribution to living well in care homes.

This article is from the free online

Care Home Nursing: Changing Perceptions

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now