Facts to consider when buying a care home

The demand for care home services is steadily growing year-on-year, and with the number of people over the age of 85 expected to double over the next 20 years in the UK, the demand will continue to rise.

Residential care homes provide a place to stay for elderly people who would not be able to manage all aspects of living independently at home. They are staffed by qualified carers who do not require the advanced medical skills of those working in nursing homes.

What qualifications do you need?

If you wish to own a care home, you will have to be registered with CQC as a care provider. To do so, you will need to demonstrate that you have the relevant experience, aptitude and business skills necessary to run a care home. Alongside a sincere desire to care for the elderly, you must demonstrate you have the appropriate management skills to organise staff, deal with the authorities and keep on top of the burdensome administration.

As well as a registered care provider, every care home must also have a registered Care Manager. To qualify for this position, you must have at least two years’ experience in senior care management and an NVQ Level 4 in Care and Management.

How are care homes regulated?

All care homes in England are responsible for making sure that the care they provide meets national standards of quality and safety. This is monitored by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), England’s main body in regulating the level of health and adult social care across the country. It is the law to meet the requirements of the CQC - care homes that are not registered are not be allowed to operate.

What are the main requirements?

The CQC’s role is to ensure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care that is responsive to the residents’ needs at all times. These include staff who are highly qualified, premises that are clean and suitable for purpose, and residents who are treated with dignity and respect, including robust processes and procedures for safeguarding them from abuse and improper treatment.

In addition, you will also be responsible for looking after the residents’ emotional well-being through the provision of social events, light exercise programmes and day trips, as well as catering for basic needs such as hairdressing services and dental treatment.

You will be inspected regularly through unannounced inspections, at any time of day or night. This is to ensure you are on top of all requirements and all business operations adhere to the CQC guidelines.

Can any residential premises be used as a care home?

There are strict regulations relating to care home premises. These include minimum floor space requirements for communal areas and private rooms, minimum ceiling heights, the provision of sufficient safe and adequate access and egress points, the provision of suitably positioned hand and grab rails, regulations relating to ensuite facilities, storage, catering and laundry and a whole host of other measures.

If you are buying an existing care home business, you need to be absolutely certain that the premises meet all necessary requirements or, if not, that you understand what the failings are and have the scope, finances, and any necessary permissions required to bring the premises up to standard. Similarly, if you are planning on buying residential premises to convert into a care home, you will also need to be 100% sure that you have the necessary space, capability and finance to make any necessary changes to the property.

Are care homes profitable?

Running a care home can be a very lucrative business. The main factors to consider when looking to build a successful care home is cementing a strong, trusted reputation in the sector. By doing this, you will ensure a continual income stream, with the possibility of generating a waiting list for your services.

Another crucial factor to enhance your reputation is strong CQC reports. When clients are looking for a care home for their relative, the most common way to find out the reputation is looking at the latest CQC report. The system is simple: the stronger the report, the better chance you have of securing a client. It’s paramount that you have an excellent CQC rating as it brings piece of mind to clients, showing you’re fully committed and dedicated in delivering an exemplary level of service.

The final factor to consider when making your care home profitable is having highly skilled, well-qualified staff. They will ensure you that residents will be provided with first-class care at all times, enabling your home to receive excellent reviews and generate a reputation as a leading provider in your sector.

If you wish to discuss the opportunity to buy a healthcare business, contact our expert team on 01772 775 776 who will take you to the entire process.