THERE are more than 100 vacant beds in care homes across Powys as the sector looks to recover from the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

There has been a significant reduction in demand for residential care since the outbreak of the virus, with anywhere between 100 and 140 beds lying empty across the 37 nursing and care homes in the county.

And there are concerns that that could have an impact on the financial viability of some homes.

Committee chairman Councillor Gwilym Davies (Disserth and Trecoed – Conservative) raised the issue with director of social services Alison Bulman at a meeting of Powys Council's health and care scrutiny committee on Wednesday.

Cllr Williams said: “With regard to choice of care, could you give us an update, is there a large number of empty beds in Powys care homes? I have figures of well over 100 going on for 140.

“It’s a concern that there’s not enough people in a care home it could make it difficult for them to manage. In the past you had to queue to get in to some of them.”

He added that 46 people had died in care homes due to coronavirus.

Ms Bulman, said: “I don’t have the exact figures but I know it’s over 100 – your numbers sound about right, there’s significant capacity in the care market in Powys.

“There is a reduction of demand for residential care.

“Following the pandemic a number of homes have to close to admissions for 28 days since their last infection.”

She said that one of her teams was working with care homes to look at the care sector after coronavirus.

Councillor Kath Robert-Jones, (Independent – Kerry)  said: “Families are probably reluctant to put their loved ones into care homes at the moment, I would guess that would improve in the future.

“The confidence has gone for a while and has to be built up again.”

Ms Bulman added: “We have seen some recovery in the admission figures for June, 11 into residential homes and 12 into nursing homes, so there is some demand coming through.”

Earlier councillors had been looking at a new policy that Powys County Council’s is hoping to implement soon.

On the Choice Policy for Adult Social Care Ms Bulman, said that the report had been delayed due to coronavirus and should have been discussed by the committee in March.

“It makes clear that people have a choice, if it’s more expensive than the provision the local authority can meet, we look for third party top up payments from a relative,” said Ms Bulman.

The report will go to cabinet for a decision soon.