Opening a care home could be a great option if you’ve been working in healthcare for a long time and want to pivot to something with a slower pace. We can also expect to see a growing demand for care homes over the next few years due to demographic pressures. It is a very particular business, however, and one that’s tightly regulated. There are also challenges specific to care homes that you have to be aware of. Here are a few things you’ll need to know before opening a care home.
Managing a business is a lot of work, but when it comes to care homes, the very life of your residents depends on it. So that’s an additional layer of pressure.
You have to be ready for all the behind the scenes work that goes into managing this kind of business. You have to make sure that you hire the right people not only for the sake of your residents, but to make sure that you don’t end up facing lawsuits for improper care. So, before you decide to embark on that path, you have to make sure you have the managerial skills needed, as well as a high tolerance level for stress.
Care homes are far from lean and you’ll need to make a significant initial investment to open one. It could cost you as much as £2m to get started according to care home owner Ada White.
One of the biggest costs will be your equipment and supplies. For medical supplies, you could check out a service like medical-supermarket.com that will allow you to buy supplies from all the top brands at wholesale prices. For equipment, you might want to look at used or leased equipment when possible.
The biggest expense will be the premises. You may decide to go with a purpose-built home, buy an existing care home, or buy a home that you can refurbish.
Know that there will be a lot that you’ll have to go through to be able to comply with care home regulations. For one, the Care Quality Commission has to deem you a “fit and proper person” first. This means that they will evaluate your suitability according to criteria such as financial standing, capability, qualifications, relevant prior conviction, mental and physical health, and financial stability, among others.
Your care home will also be regularly inspected by the CQC to make sure that the level of care is up to standard. Also, you will need to appoint a registered manager to make sure that these standards are kept. Not only that, but you will also have to make sure that they get additional training so they can stay on top of the skills necessary to fulfil their duties on an ongoing basis.
As you can see, starting a care home is serious business, but it can be a very profitable one if handled correctly. All you need is a proper plan and a realistic idea of what it means to run one.