If the care home sector were an elastic band we’d currently be seeing it pulled extremely tight. Some might say almost to snapping point.
Tugging on one end we have tightening budgets and funding restrictions that make it hard to run a sustainable care home operation, staffed by loyal and motivated professionals. At the other end, we have an ageing population and an urgent need to free up NHS beds when people really need care rather than health services.
The struggle for sustainability has seen one in twenty care beds lost in the last three years. Meanwhile, projected demand indicates that we could have a shortfall of 70,000 care beds by 2026, unless we significantly increase the rate at which new care home accommodation is brought on stream.
In this world, challenge and opportunity seemed destined to walk hand in hand for some time. Consequently, when new care home facilities are brought into operation there isn’t a penny or time to waste.
In an era where more intelligent area-based commissioning should more closely match purchasing of care home places to local needs, there will also need to be plenty of flexibility. Care home providers who can respond quickly to proven demand will have a big advantage. New capacity will undoubtedly have to be brought on stream quickly to meet rising demand. Existing facilities will need the capability to be easily expanded as demand continues to grow.
These challenges of cost certainty, responsiveness and flexibility are ones that the traditional construction industry has struggled to meet. Budgets have been hard to pin down and stick to in the way that a hard-pressed care sector needs. Delivery times tend to slip because of bad weather, shortages of skills and materials, or unforeseen technical problems. New facilities are delayed and anticipated revenue streams take longer to materialise.
Extending using traditional building methods can be highly disruptive to existing staff and residents. It can also be technically complex.
Is There a Better Alternative?
There seems to be an unanswerable case for more widespread use of offsite construction methods, such as Innovaré’s unique hybrid system of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) and precast concrete floors. It ticks all the boxes in terms of quality, speed, predictability of budget and timing, extendibility and building performance.
Efficient building techniques will help. But they won’t be enough on their own. It probably won’t be sufficient for developers to deliver ‘buildings to order’, however efficiently. There will need to be a strategic and value-led approach in which the developer understands the long-term needs of the care sector and engineers solutions that deliver flexibility and low lifetime costs, the same with any sector.
Because Innovaré designs, engineers, manufactures and installs offsite panelised solutions we are uniquely placed to deliver this type of long term strategic partnership. To find out more about how we could help you with your care home project visit www.innovaresystems.co.uk or get in touch on 0845 674 0020.
To find out more about how we can provide exacting standards for rapid build times, minimal post completion defects, thermal efficiency and sustainability solutions to healthcare and assisted living construction projects, go to www.innovaresystems.co.uk.
Original Link - Innovare Systems