A regional care group today criticised the Chief Executive of NHS England for saying he believed there would be no care homes in 50 years’ time.
Simon Stevens said he thought better community care and advances in the treatment of dementia would mean people would be able to stay in their own homes.
But the Independent Care Group (York and North Yorkshire) says his comments are potentially damaging to the care home sector, which provides a vital service to many thousands of older people.
Its Chair, Mike Padgham, said: “Mr Stevens may have this slightly utopian view that one day we will have no need for care homes but that is severely at odds and out of touch with reality.
“Yes, domiciliary care provides excellent care in people’s own homes but people should always be able to choose where they receive care.
“Care homes play a vital role in caring for people who, for whatever reason, have care needs that mean they can no longer live at home and it is very, very important that they continue to thrive and offer people that choice in the care they receive.
“Just a couple of weeks ago we had National Care Home Open Day when homes across the country celebrated the fantastic, compassionate work that our care homes do in providing safe, warm and welcoming homes for thousands of very grateful people.
“As that day suggested, we must cherish and celebrate our wonderful care homes and praise the staff who do an excellent job, not damage their morale by throwing doubt over the need for their very existence, as Mr Stevens seems to do.
“Perhaps Mr Stevens would like to visit some care homes in our area to see the job they do.”