A third of areas in the UK are 'care deserts' without any residential beds — even for those who can pay

UP to one in three areas in England are care deserts — blackspots without residential beds even for those able to pay.

The picture is even worse for those needing nursing support, with no capacity in up to two in three parts of the country.

It means 1.5million older Brits are being left at the mercy of a “chaotic and broken” social care system, a damning report from Age UK says.

Charity director Caroline Abrahams said: “The result is the emergence of care deserts and a deeply worrying lack of nursing home places, in particular leaving some of our most vulnerable older people high and dry.

“This report shows how chaotic and broken the market for care has become after years of underfunding and the absence of determined Government action.”

The number of care beds has fallen by one per cent in five years, despite rising demand.

As a result, social care provision has passed tipping point and collapsed in parts of the country.

The analysis, carried out by Incisive Health, looked at 7,578 postcode areas across England.

It found 2,244 had no available care home beds, leaving 30 per cent of the country with no  provision.

Account director Kieran Lucia said: “The social care system is broken.

“Despite the best efforts of the dedicated social care workforce, the system is no longer capable of delivering care to everyone who needs it.”

Experts blame cuts and staff shortages. The number of empty posts for social care nurses has tripled over five years.

Age UK also warns “arbitrary and catastrophic” charging rules are hitting  thousands of families, with some facing  bills topping  £500,000.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it had given councils access to up to £3.9billion more funding for adult social care this year.

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