Public policy and private provisions: changes in residential care from 1991 to 2001

Philip Haynes, Susan Balloch, Laura Banks, Michael Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research examined changes in the number of care homes and their residents in the UK between the 1991 and 2001 Censuses. Local-authority-owned provision universally declined in this period, but changes in private residential and nursing homes were far more varied. Some parts of Britain experienced a growth in this market, in particular Scotland. Regions which were traditionally linked with greater numbers of retired people in their populations declined in their private residential home markets (e.g. the South West and South East). Wales experienced a regional decline that was greater than most English regions. Using additional Department of Health data, it was possible to estimate which local authority areas in England were exporting state-funded supported residents to homes out of their area. Most of these authorities were in urban areas and the highest rates of exporting were from Inner London boroughs. Political control and average property prices were explored as possible independent variables influencing the percentage rate of decline in homes in a local authority area. It appeared that Conservative authorities experienced a more rapid decline in government-owned homes than those run by Labour, but the results were not statistically significant, suggesting that local politics was a not a key influence on the trend. Average property prices did not affect all areas of the country, but were found to have a negative and significant association with percentage rates of decline in care homes in both Wales and London.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-507
Number of pages9
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2006


  • adult social care
  • care homes
  • communal establishments
  • residential social care
  • social care market


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