Its annual UK healthcare report said that, in the 2019 to 2020 financial year, 7,058 beds (or 122 homes) were newly registered but 6,789 beds (233 homes) closed down.

Research shows the number of care home beds per 100 people over the age of 85 has fallen by 5% since 2010, despite a ‘minimal’ increase in the supply. Although the number of care home beds increased by 2,500 in the last financial year, the number of homes fell to 12,170 nationwide.

Knight Frank experts have estimated £15bn needs to be invested in upgrading existing beds to future-proof for the UK ageing population.

Julian Evans, head of healthcare at Knight Frank, said: “The UK healthcare industry requires substantial investment in order to keep pace with present demand, let alone the provision that is going to be needed for the future as the population continues to age.

He added: “This has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic which has accelerated trends that will lead to closures of care homes that are no longer fit for purpose, resulting in a significant national shortfall of bed provision.

“Once the situation resolves around the Covid-19 crisis, we will see numerous changes around how operators fare and we expect that with the scarcity of stock and a continuing ageing population driving demand, the investment appetite for care home developments will remain strong from a range of investors.”