Almost 10,000 care home beds have been lost in England in the past five years in what is being dubbed a crisis, analysis of Care Quality Commission data has revealed.

Slough has seen a drop of 10.9 per cent, going from 403 beds in 2014 to 359 in 2019, according to the figures analysed by retirement mortgage experts Responsible Life.

In contrast, the Royal Borough has seen a rise of 14.56 per cent, going up from 1,209 beds in 2014 to 1,385 in 2019.

In total 9,772 beds have been lost in five years in the 75 local authority areas that have struggled to keep up with provision since 2014.

Responsible Life says the findings suggest older people are being left at the mercy of a “postcode lottery” in some areas, even though the overall number of beds has reportedly risen in the same period, from 401,322 to 407,058.

Overall, the number of care homes in England has fallen from 11,113 in 2014 to 10,878 in 2019, declining in 86 of the 150 authority areas, the figures suggest.

Steve Wilkie, managing director of Responsible Life, said: “The number of beds country-wide has actually gone up, so we know a drop in the number of beds in half of authorities is not part of a wider change in how people want to access care in later life.

“In fact, what we are seeing is a postcode lottery unfold. If this trend isn’t reversed, it is going to get even tougher to access care in certain areas in the coming years.

“For some it will mean lack of availability and subsequently higher costs force them to delay accessing the right care at the right time, while others may feel they are better off financially paying for assistance at home.

“The danger is that some retirees will inevitably choose to remain in homes that do not meet their requirements. It is imperative that people consider all their options and make informed choices well in advance.”