Market shaping in adult social care

Institute for Public Policy Research
Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)
Publication date:
07 August 2017


This paper analyses changes in the care home market in England over the past five years, and whether the Care Act 2014 market shaping duty has influenced the market. The analysis shows that the total number of care home beds has reduced across England, but that the number of beds specifically for older people has increased. There has also been a reduction in the number of residential and nursing homes operating in England over the past five years and a trend for care homes to be larger. The analysis found smaller homes that are closing, whilst new larger care homes are often targeted at self-funders. The analysis highlights the fragility of the care home market. It makes suggestions to councils on what they should do to fulfil their market shaping duty and ensure there is a diverse and sustainable care home market.