Care sector financial viability continues to be in the news.  We are all aware of the considerable financial pressure that many businesses in the care sector are under.  There are concerns as to whether all businesses are sustainable with the current level of funding received from the county councils, and we await the 2018/19 social care rates from the Council with interest noting to date that over 90% of councils are seeking to increase the precept tax.   Looking forward it is an area where the pressures are expected to continue to increase and having Real Time and forward-looking business figures will become a necessity if not already.

Against this background, the Care Quality Commission have introduced ‘more proportionate’ regulations to check on the financial viability of businesses providing care. This would seem to be a very sensible step – however, given the fragile nature of many businesses it may be questionable as to whether the new regulations go far enough.

The new regulations only apply to new providers submitting a new registration. Existing providers do not need to supply more financial viability information. Though they may do if there is a significant change in scale of the provision – or market intelligence has suggested to the CQC that they may have inadequate financial resource.

For those who do have to submit the financial viability information, it is in the form of a simple letter – the template of which is on the CQC website under regulation 13. This does not require any financial information other than the signature of an accountant, a bank or a financial services firm who have to tick a box and sign to say ‘The applicant does have the financial resources to provide and continue to provide the services as described in the statement of purpose.’

It could be observed that in a high-risk market these new regulations may seem a touch on the flimsy side.   All care businesses need to know what their financial viability is to enable them to run and plan for the future.   Albert Goodman have a specialist team looking after the care sector and offer a comprehensive programme of support. If you would be interested in knowing more about our range of services please contact Julie.hopkins@albertgoodman.co.uk

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