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Taking greater care - why we need stronger consumer protections in the care home market

1 December 2016

Citizens Advice helped over 20,000 people with 27,000 social care issues last year, over a third of which related specifically to care homes. We see firsthand how people struggle to navigate the care home market.

Our new report, Taking greater care - why we need stronger consumer protections in the care home market [ 0.89 mb], provides further insight into people’s experiences of arranging and paying for care. The research looks at whether people are able to make an informed choice about a care home that is right for them, understand their rights and receive fair treatment from the provider, and speak up if they have concerns.

In recent months, there has been an important focus on the challenging market care providers face, as well as the ways the sector is letting down care workers. This report identifies signs that the care home market is also not working well for older people and their families. Building on previous Citizens Advice research, which highlighted a number of consumer protection concerns, this research takes takes a broader look at the care home market. The findings are based on 15 in-depth interviews and a survey of 510 adults who helped an older person arrange and pay for a care home place in England in the past 3 years. They highlight concerns at each key stage of people’s engagement with the market.

The report sets out a number of ways regulators, local authorities, the NHS, care home providers and the voluntary sector can work together to improve people’s experiences of arranging and paying for care.