United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

People prefer care at home - 12/06/2014

UKHCA, the professional association for homecare providers responds to estimates undertaken by the UK's largest care home provider, Four Seasons Health Care, suggesting that "providing just a few hours of care visits a day for elderly people in their own homes may be costing the taxpayer more than it would to provide around the clock care in a care home."

UKHCA notes that whilst in some individual cases it will be less expensive for the state to fund people’s care in residential settings, it is not clear that this is the case generally. More importantly, such an assertion completely ignores people’s overwhelming preference for support to meet their care needs in their own homes.

UKHCA’s Policy Director, Colin Angel, said:

“Around nine in ten people would prefer to be cared for in their own homes if the need arose, with around just 8% expressing a preference for residential care.” (note 7).

“Successive governments have signalled the need for people's social care needs to be supported in a way which maintains independence for as long as possible, helping people through better support in their local community.” (note 8).

UKHCA strongly supports the right of people to choose the most appropriate care setting to meet their needs and preferences. We remain committed to working with Government and bodies across health and social care to promote effective and efficient services that enable people to live well at home and in their own communities.


Notes for Editors

1. United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is the professional association for more than 2,100 domiciliary care providers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

2. UKHCA’s mission, as a member-led professional association, is to promote high quality, sustainable care services so that people can continue to live at home and in their local community. We do this by campaigning, and through leadership and support to social care providers.

3. UKHCA represents 33% of independent and voluntary sector providers in the UK, and estimates that its member organisations employ over 119,000 homecare workers, who deliver over 2.79 million hours of care per week to around 166,000 service users, valued at £1.62 billion per annum.

4. Homecare encompasses provision of personal care, to people in their own homes. For many, homecare is the alternative of choice for people who would otherwise need to move into residential accommodation.

5. The majority of homecare is funded by the state (usually by local council social services departments, Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) or Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland). However, homecare services are largely delivered by independent and voluntary sector providers working under contracts with the statutory sector.

6. 11,700 people questioned, 87 per cent would prefer to be cared for in their own homes if the need arose, while less than one in ten, 8 per cent, would want to go into a residential care.

7. 87% of a sample of 11,700 people would prefer to be cared for in their own homes if the need arose, according to a 2012 survey by Saga / Populus.

This is consistent with earlier findings (June 2011), where 93% of 11,279 people aged 50 or above expressed a preference to live in their own home in older age, compared to a care home or moving in with family.

8. Successive governments have signalled a preference away from residential care towards homecare, for example Department of Health (2012) Caring for our future: reforming care and support, page 10.

9. Regularly updated statistical information about homecare services in all four UK administrations is available from "An Overview of the UK Domiciliary Care Sector" at

10. For further information please contact:

Colin Angel, Policy and Campaigns Director
United Kingdom Homecare Association
Group House, 52 Sutton Court Road, Sutton, SM1 4SL

Direct Line: 020 8661 8160
Mobile: 07920 788993

Registered in England, No. 3083104.

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