WESTMORLAND and Lonsdale saw one of the biggest reductions in the number of care home beds in the country according to new research.

Data looking at CQC registered care homes, obtained from the House of Commons Library, revealed Cumbria has seen a 32 per cent decline in the number of care homes-falling from 213 in 2015 to 145 in 2021.

In Westmorland and Lonsdale care homes have reduced from 42 in 2015 to 32 in 2021.

Meanwhile the number of beds in Cumbria has dropped by more than one in five, down from 5,839 to 4,363.

This is over three times higher than the national average in England which has seen a 10 per cent reduction in beds.

Parliamentary constituencies in Cumbria made up three of the five areas with the biggest drop in care home beds.

Westmorland and Lonsdale was fifth with 297 fewer beds.

MP Tim Farron is tabling a Written Parliamentary Question to Health Secretary Sajid Javid to ask what he will do to support Cumbria’s struggling social care sector.

“We know that social care in this country is under enormous pressure but these figures reveal just how desperate the situation has become,” he said.

“While of course there has been a move in recent years for people to be cared for at home, the staffing crisis in the sector is leading to some care homes being left with no choice but to close their doors.

“With a growing elderly population, it should greatly concern us all that our loved ones might not receive the care that they deserve – despite the best efforts of those working on the front line.

“The Government are hiking the National Insurance contributions of working people from April but have yet to give any clear indication of whether this money will be used to support Cumbria’s struggling social care sector.

“Local social care staff are on their knees – it’s high time the Government acted.”