The whole care market for older and disabled people in England could be at risk, the official regulator says.
Evidence gathered by the Care Quality Commission, shows the regulator is worried over the “pace” of care home closures.
Over the past six years, the number of homes has fallen by nearly 1,500 to 16,600.
The document also warns about the number of home care providers turning their back on council contracts.
The CQC evidence has been compiled from 2015 figures submitted by 39 of the biggest providers in the care market. They represent an estimated quarter of the market and take part in an anonymised monitoring regime run by the CQC.
It has been designed to guard against sudden market failures like the one seen five years ago with the collapse of Southern Cross, which left more than 30,000 older people at risk of being forced out of their care homes. Other providers were eventually found to take on the homes.
The CQC document – shared at an internal meeting of the industry and care sector in September – raises concerns about the future for providers that rely heavily on local authority contracts for their business.
Read more at BBC Health.