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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2020  /  August 2020  /  Financing care homes

Financing care homes

Amy Horton’s podcast discussion

Financing care homes

On 30th July, Dr Amy Horton (UCL Geography) was interviewed about her research on care homes by Dr Nick Taylor (Goldsmiths, University of London). The discussion is available as a podcast from the Political Economy Research Centre (PERC).

Care homes have been hit hard by the pandemic. The podcast discusses how the funding and organisation of social care may have contributed to some of these impacts. It draws on Dr Horton’s research, including a recent paper in Environment and Planning: A (2019): ‘Financialization and non-disposable women: Real estate, debt and labour in UK care homes’.

The paper investigates the ownership of UK care homes by investment funds, who have used high levels of debt to buy companies and sought to tap into their property assets. Such financialization, however, also depends on specific forms of labour: a low status, mostly female, workforce. Although care workers are often treated as unskilled and disposable, in some ways they resist disposability and financial discipline.

The PERC discussion is now available as a podcast (below).

  • It first considers the interacting trends that have affected social care in recent years - privatisation, austerity and financialization.
  • It then examines the specific models of financial ownership being applied and the crucial role that labour plays in both enabling and limiting financialization in residential care.
  • Finally, it addresses the principles for imagining an alternative future for care that recognise its social and relational value.

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Amy Horton


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