11 May 2022

What Is The Average Time From Enquiry To Placement?

We are often asked how long it takes for the average care enquiry to move from point of enquiry to admission into a care home or nursing home. This is an important aspect of enquiry management to understand as it allows you to deploy the resources of your team effectively to maximise every opportunity.

It is worth stating that not all enquiries made to a care home will place; in fact the great majority will not. Some may decide on other homes, others may decide that a care home is no longer the best option. Sadly, others pass away before the support is put in place.

Of those who do place in a home it varies based on a number of factors, these include:

  • Care type - residential, nursing or dementia care
  • Funding type - Private vs Local Authority
  • Stay duration - Respite vs Permeant

We have looked at all of these factors below but first we started by looking at the last three years and how sales cycles have changed.

2019 to 2021 - have things changed?

The last three years have seen many changes. The care sector has felt the impacts of COVID-19, a staffing crisis and a media storm. Has this impacted sales cycles? In short, yes.

In 2019, 77% of placements happened within 4 weeks from point of enquiry to moving into the home. In 2020 this figure rose to 81%. Likely causes for this were rapid discharges from hospitals to care homes in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic and an overall reduction in lower care need packages which typically have a longer sales cycle.

However in 2021 only 69% of admissions took place in the first 4 weeks, showing a slow down in the average sales cycle of most care enquiries by around 10% on pre pandemic levels.

Do care types play a part?

The greater the need, the faster the placement.

79% of nursing care enquiries place within 4 weeks, compared to just 67% of residential enquiries. If the individual has dementia, this slows the process slightly. For nursing and residential dementia, 72% of placements happen within the first 4 weeks.

The second week is still the most important week for a dual registered service to focus their efforts on their open and active care enquiries, regardless of care type.

Placement by funding type

The funding status of the individual who requires support does have a baring on the speed at which a placement happens. From the data we can see week 3 is the best week for a placement if the individual is funded by the Local Authority, compared with week 2 being the best for a privately funded individual.

18% of placements happen in week 1 if the individual is privately funded, compared with 12% if the individual is funded by the Local Authority.

Over the past 3 years we have seen an overall decrease in the number of enquiries made to care homes from Social Workers. Even if the care package is fully funded by the Local Authority, family members are stepping in to undertake the search. Please check out or article 'Who contacts care homes' to find out more.

Respite vs permanent care

Not surprisingly respite enquiries have a tendency to place a lot quicker than individuals looking for a permanent care home placement.

54% of respite enquiries place in the first 2 weeks compared with 36% of long term care packages.

Key take aways

  • Just under 70% of placements at a care home happen within the first 4 weeks from point of enquiry.
  • Week 2 provides the best opportunity to place a care enquiry regardless of care type, funding or stay duration.
  • Care type impacts speed of placement; nursing placements and dementia placements have the shortest sales cycle, whereas residential have the longest.
  • Only 4% of enquiries which are older than 10 weeks go on to place at a care home. If you have enquiries older than 10 weeks live in your CRM system, make this a job of marketing to contact and focus your Customer Relationship Advisers on enquiries less than 4 weeks for the best results.

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