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United Kingdom Homecare Association Ltd (UKHCA) is the professional association of home care providers from the independent, voluntary, not-for-profit and statutory sectors. UKHCA helps organisations that provide social care (also known as domiciliary care or homecare), which may include nursing services, to people in their own homes, promoting high standards of care and providing representation with national and regional policy-makers and regulators. The Association represents over two-thousand members across the United Kingdom, in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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Spending Review offers minimal reassurance to homecare providers

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has today delivered the Comprehensive Spending Review. This sets out how Government will spend money over the coming years.

Key announcements included one to introduce powers to local authorities to levy a 2% social care precept on council tax. All money raised by this means would have to spent on social care.

The Chancellor said that this could raise £2 billion to spend on social care by 2020.

For more information please see UKHCA's press release. 

Announcement posted on: 25 November 2015


Council tax levy unlikely to meet shortfall in social care funding

Chancellor George Osborne announced in his Spending Review and Autumn Statement that local authorities responsible for social care will be able to levy a new social care precept of up to 2% on council tax. The money raised would have to be spent exclusively on adult social care. The Chancellor said if all authorities choose to make full use of it, it will bring almost £2 billion more into the social care system by 2020.

UKHCA Policy Director Colin Angel commented: "Even if all councils increased council tax by 2%, it would raise less than £500m next year. In the homecare sector alone a £753m deficit is predicted for 2016-17."

Chancellor's speech. Blue book (see page 39). Department of Health's settlement. Local Government Funding.

Announcement posted on: 25 November 2015


Care Sector gives further warning to the Chancellor

As speculation about Wednesday’s Spending Review and Autumn Statement reaches fever pitch, the care sector has made a further, last ditch appeal to the Chancellor.

UKHCA was one of a coalition of 15 major social-care organisations that issued a joint letter to the Chancellor following emergency talks last week, warning of the severe consequences for the care sector if public funding is insufficient. Signatories included ADASS, Age UK, Carers UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Citizens UK, the Living Wage Foundation, GMB Union and the trade bodies for independent care home and domiciliary care providers. The coalition warned that both the care home and domiciliary care markets face becoming financially unviable without an urgent funding settlement, and experts believe the collapse of social care would lead to an unprecedented NHS crisis, with hospitals overwhelmed by thousands of vulnerable older people. Guardian coverage. Watch on Parliament TV at 12.30 pm on 25 November 2015.

Announcement posted on: 23 November 2015


Leading organisations write to Prime Minister with mounting evidence of social care crisis

The Care & Support Alliance has written to the Prime Minister outlining the growing evidence that social care is in crisis, with £4.6 billion in funding already taken out of the system while care needs are rising. The Alliance, which includes UKHCA, urges the Prime Minister to ensure that next week's Spending Review addresses this crisis. It warns that failure to do so runs the risk of this Government presiding over a serious collapse of services vital to the most vulnerable older and disabled people and their carers. Letter to the Prime Minister.

Remember to sign and share the Save Our Homecare petition to have your voice heard. Please spread the word and encourage your staff teams and social networks to do the same.

Announcement posted on: 18 November 2015


Wales to start compulsory workforce registration from 2020

Health Minister Mark Drakeford AM has announced the roll out of compulsory registration for domiciliary workers in Wales from 2020. The new provisions will be in the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Bill, currently before the National Assembly, and are due to come in from April 2017. The registration of adult residential care workers will follow in 2022.

The Welsh Government has said it will prioritise funding for a three-year development programme from April 2016 to prepare domiciliary care workers for registration, with the register opening in April 2018. Professor Drakeford said: "In addition to the development programme, we will be working with the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales to create greater transparency in relation to the workforce through service regulation so public assurance can be increased in advance of mandatory registration. This workforce information will become available from April 2017." Video of announcement.

Announcement posted on: 16 November 2015


Delayed discharges from hospital due to people awaiting homecare rises again

New data from NHS England has shown that delayed discharges are increasing rapidly, demonstrating the need for additional funding in the Spending Review. In September 2015 the total days lost to the NHS because people were waiting for a package of homecare was 26,152. This represents a 33% increase on the same figure for September 2014. NHS England data

UKHCA has published an analysis of delayed discharges:

Announcement posted on: 13 November 2015


Simon Hamilton outlines plans for the future of social care and health in Northern Ireland

Minister for Health, Simon Hamilton MLA, has given a speech outlining his plans for the future of social care in Northern Ireland following the recommendations made in the Donaldson Review.

Most notably he announced proposals to disband the Health and Social Care Board and to appoint an expert local panel to lead the debate on the future configuration of health and social care in Northern Ireland.

The Minister's speech is available in full online.

Announcement posted on: 05 November 2015


Just time to complete CQC's Adult Social Care Provider Survey

CQC's annual provider survey is now live. The survey is providers' chance to tell CQC what they think about their approach, and whether their work helps to identify good practice and encourages improvement. It gives regulated providers in England the chance to feedback on their experiences of, and contact with, CQC. Take the survey here: Adult Social Care Provider Survey CQC say the survey will close at midday on Wednesday 11th November 2015.  The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete, and feedback will remain anonymous

Announcement posted on: 03 November 2015


UKHCA hits out at dramatic increase in fees proposed by CQC

UKHCA has hit out at proposals for a 313% increase in homecare providers' fees by the Care Quality Commission in England, to be phased over two or four years.

This flies in the face of gross underfunding of state-funded social care with an £3.6bn shortfall in council funding which has already placed fees paid for care by councils at unacceptably low levels.

Colin Angel, UKHCA’s Policy Director, described the increases as outrageous. He said: “Homecare providers have been largely supportive of the new approach to inspection and the introduction of quality ratings, but the Commission has yet to demonstrate that it represents good value for money for the organisations it regulates".

The Association has issued members with a briefing on the proposals.

Full UKHCA media release. CQC consultation.

Announcement posted on: 02 November 2015


Underfunding in the homecare market

Funding is the biggest issue for the homecare sector and that is why councils must play their part in creating a stable social care market.

Colin Angel, UKHCA Policy and Campaigns Director tackles the tough questions about homecare market stability in a Care Management Matters feature.

Announcement posted on: 27 October 2015


UKHCA appoints new board members

United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) this week elected new board members following their recent annual general meeting.

The Association would like to welcome new directors:-

• Mike Smith, Trinity Homecare Group Limited
• Jane Townson, Somerset Care Limited
• Richard Walker, Optimo Care Group Limited
• Fiona Williams, Bluebird Care Company Limited

UKHCA’s board bids farewell and thanks Steve Allen, Peter King and Wayne Rees, who stepped down from the board having reached the end of their three year term in office.

Max Wurr was re-elected to the board. Both Lynda Gardner and Trevor Brocklebank have been re-elected and will continue to perform the role of Honorary Secretary and Treasurer respectively.

Announcement posted on: 23 October 2015


Dementia and Homecare: Driving Quality & Innovation

Nine actions for change have been called for to inspire dementia care in the community, with care providers, commissioners, regulators and health sector partners all urged to take action. These are contained within a new report that demonstrates how skilled homecare can play a pivotal role in enabling people living with dementia and their family to live well in the environment of their choice, at home.

United Kingdom Homecare Association today (21 October 2015) releases the report ‘Dementia & Homecare: Driving Quality & Innovation’, as part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia. The report seeks to provide clear, practical guidance and examples of innovative practice to further dementia care in the community, and what is required to spread these examples across the sector. Full media release.

Announcement posted on: 21 October 2015


CQC publishes the state of health care and adult social in England 2014/15

Following CQC inspections across health and social care, today (15 October) sees the publication of their annual report. To view the publication visit CQC's website.

Announcement posted on: 15 October 2015


Homecare market under threat from low council fees

Independent and voluntary sector homecare providers receiving low fees from local authorities could be forced into withdrawing from care, or going out of business, according to a recent United Kingdom Homecare Association survey. The findings compound an already critically underfunded care system.

The survey gathered data from a total of 492 homecare providers in the UK, with 63% of them trading with one or more local authorities. Many providers have indicated that they are already forced to hand back contracts for people’s care to their local authorities which purchase them because prices paid are uneconomic.

Colin Angel, UKHCA Policy Director said: “A stable, effective homecare sector is vital to over 883,000 older and disabled people who rely on homebased care each year. The low fees paid by local councils and a lack of funding for the new National Living Wage, place the future of the home care market in an extremely vulnerable position."

UKHCA press releaseUKHCA Survey.

Announcement posted on: 08 October 2015


Have your say - Save Our Homecare e-petition launched Save Our Homecare logo

UKHCA has launched the Save Our Homecare e-petition to demonstrate to Government the urgent need to fund homecare services properly – both for today and the future. The Save Our Homecare initiative is part of UKHCA’s wider campaign to influence Government ahead of the spending review this November. The e-petition is live here and Save Our Homecare Facebook and Twitter pages have been launched to help spread the word.

See the Supporter Pack for UKHCA members which has ideas and resources to help members get involved and spread the word about the campaign.

Every signature counts - A strong demonstration of public support for the Save Our Homecare petition will send a powerful message to Government of the need for action.

Announcement posted on: 01 October 2015


National Minimum Wage Rates Increase

The National Minimum Wage rate has today, 1st October 2015, increased from £6.50 per hour to £6.70 per hour.

This increase has been reflected in our costing model and means that UKHCA's Minimum Price for Homecare is now £16.16 per hour.

Announcement posted on: 01 October 2015


UKHCA's response to the NICE homecare guideline

UKHCA welcomes the NICE Homecare Guideline issued today and believes that homecare providers and front line care workers will find it beneficial in their daily practices.

UKHCA Policy and Campaigns Director, Colin Angel said:
“The guideline highlights the necessity for individualised approaches to care and reflects the evidence base of what we know will best support people with social care needs at home. It is vital that these approaches are implemented by front-line workers and those responsible for commissioning services, particularly in relation to the time available to provide dignified care.
“We know that people who use home based care value the relationships that they build with those who support them, but can be frustrated if their care is not properly coordinated between different professionals. Therefore we are particularly pleased to see the recommendation of a “named care coordinator” principle in the Guideline."

To view the NICE Guideline visit:

Announcement posted on: 23 September 2015


“Working Time” and the National Minimum Wage

There was considerable media reporting yesterday (10 September 2015) relating to the interpretation of “working time” following a judgement by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The judgement relates to workers who do not have a fixed place of work, which is likely to include the majority of homecare workers. Much of the media coverage has implied that this will affect what counts as "working time" for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage. Our initial legal advice is that it will not. However, it will affect what counts as "working time" under the Working Time Regulations. For more information, UKHCA members should see the briefing we have emailed to them today, which has been prepared with the assistance of Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP.

Announcement posted on: 11 September 2015


UKHCA submit evidence to HM Treasury on Spending Review 2015

UKHCA have submitted extensive evidence to HM Treasury on the 2015 Spending Review. This Spending Review will inform how public money is allocated and spent for the next five years.

We made a robust case for increased funding for homecare and meeting the extra costs of the National Living Wage. We showed that underfunding homecare undermines market stability, impacts upon the continuity of care for people who use services and places undue demand side pressure on the NHS.

Members can see how we responded in full here.

Announcement posted on: 04 September 2015


New Member Resource: Personalisation Factsheet

Personalisation is a policy directive that continues to develop across the UK, it is fundamentally about securing better outcomes for people who use services and giving individuals a more active role in the delivery, management and commissioning of care.

UKHCA's new factsheet will give members an overview of personalisation policy across the UK as well as practical advice to help members develop a truly personalised service and tips for how to deal with potential challenges as personalisation policy continues to develop. 

Announcement posted on: 18 August 2015


Open Letter to the Chancellor on National Living Wage

Today, UKHCA publishes an open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, supporting the National Living Wage, but calling for action to ensure that the costs are fully funded by government, which UKHCA estimates will be £753 million in the first year alone.

UKHCA has revised our Minimum Price for Homecare, which increases from the current £15.74 per hour, to £16.20 per hour from October 2015 and £16.70 per hour from April 2016, when the new National Living Wage comes into force.

Read UKHCA’s letter to the Chancellor in full. BBC News video. UKHCA media release.

Announcement posted on: 27 July 2015


Government cap on care costs to be delayed until 2020

Responding to Government’s announcement that the policy to cap care costs in England will be delayed until 2020, the United Kingdom Homecare Association’s Policy Director, Colin Angel, said:

“Government’s announcement will cause additional distress for some people who may face significant care costs in the future.

The social care sector is massively underfunded and the delay to the cap provides an opportunity for Government to prioritise public resource where it is most needed, meeting the care and support requirements of older and disabled people, many of whose needs currently remain unmet.

Government must take urgent measures, starting with the upcoming Spending Review, to ensure that funding reaches front line homecare services rather than being subsumed in the processes of local government.”

See the full UKHCA media release at:

Announcement posted on: 17 July 2015


Chancellor to bring in National Living Wage from 2016

Responding to the Chancellor's announcement of a new compulsory National Living Wage of £7.20 an hour for workers of 25 or over from April 2016, rising to over £9 an hour by 2020, UKHCA Policy Director Colin Angel commented:

"UKHCA supports measures which improve the terms and conditions of low-paid workforces. We note that Government's announcement on a National Living Wage for workers aged 25 years and above is offset to some degree by changes to employers' National Insurance contributions. However, due to the age profile of the social care workforce this announcement will have a significant impact on the cost of homecare.

"Whilst employers are responsible for meeting the increased cost, the vast majority of homecare services are purchased by local councils, who have an extremely poor record of increasing their fees in response. The impact of constrained public spending by councils has been subject to repeated criticism from the Low Pay Commission.

"We call on Government in each UK administration to ensure that the statutory sector is adequately funded to meet these additional costs, and to monitor effectively how such funding is passed on to employers. It is vital to ameliorate the negative impact on an increasingly under-funded sector, and to achieve better conditions for the homecare workforce in a sustainable way."

A summary of the Summer Budget 2015 key announcements is at: Chancellor's speech. Policy Documents.

Announcement posted on: 08 July 2015


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