Energy crisis: Care homes ‘at risk of closure’ as bills rise

·1-min read
Care homes are under pressure due to rising bills  (PA Archive)
Care homes are under pressure due to rising bills (PA Archive)

Care home provider Sheffcare, which manages nine centres across the Sheffield area, is at risk of closure with the fuel crisis leaving it unable to pay bills.

The company pays around £90,000 a year for fuel but its next bill could be 11 times higher, Sky News reported, and bosses are calling for urgent government intervention.

Claire Rintoul, the chief executive of Sheffcare, told reporters: "We've been quoted £1.16m extra. It just doesn't work.

“That is just not a realistic figure that we can afford. The worst-case scenario, we close down. That is the absolute worst-case scenario."

Sheffcare has reported that staff recruitment and retention is also a real issue and that workers are often likely to leave for more lucrative roles in other sectors.

A Sheffield City Council spokesman told Sky they are “developing plans to support a response to the crisis”.

Hawthorns Lodge, which operates four care homes in the north east, has also reported it could see bills rising by up to 500 per cent.

On Thursday, the International Monetary Fund said the UK was likely to be hit harder by the energy crisis than any other country in Europe.

The fund has said the UK is paying the price for having energy inefficient homes compared to other European nations and a comparatively heavy reliance on gas to heat homes.

The government has said it cannot control some of the factors which are pushing up bills but would be doubling its support for high energy usage businesses and reducing employer national insurance.