United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

The Homecare Deficit: Funding of Older People's Homecare - 04/03/2015

United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA), the professional organisation for domiciliary care providers, today (4 March 2015) releases the national and regional picture of under-funding of homecare services for older people across the United Kingdom, using data obtained under freedom of information legislation (note 1).
The report exposes the level of risk that councils in Great Britain (and health and social care trusts in Northern Ireland) place on a system intended to support older people. Continued constraints on local government funding can only exacerbate an already critical situation.

Just 28 councils (of the 203 authorities where an average price could be established) paid their independent and voluntary sector homecare providers fees at or above UKHCA's minimum price for homecare of £15.74 per hour (note 2).

The average price for an hour for homecare for older people in a sample week was:

* United Kingdom: £13.66 per hour
* England: £13.77 per hour
* Wales: £14.28 per hour
* Scotland: £13.68 per hour
* Northern Ireland: £11.35 per hour

'Heat maps' in the report provide graphical illustration of prices paid by individual councils across the UK's regions (note 3). The findings highlight the exceptionally low rates paid in Northern Ireland; a north-south divide across England; and the impact of dominant purchasing power of councils in Greater London (note 4).

UKHCA's Policy Director, Colin Angel, said:

"Low prices paid for homecare services carry a number of risks, including poor terms and conditions for the workforce, insufficient resources to organise the service and insufficient training for the complex work that supports the increasingly frail and disabled individuals who qualify for state-funded support.
"Unless this underfunding is addressed, the independent and voluntary sector will continue to struggle to recruit and retain careworkers with the right disposition, training and qualifications. Ultimately, the care market will become commercially unsustainable for the providers who deliver most of the homecare purchased by the state within the UK."

The report makes recommendations for councils, providers and government in all four UK administrations, including effective oversight of authorities' commissioning practices by independent regulators (note 5).


Notes for Editors

1. "The Homecare Deficit: A report on the funding of older people's homecare across the United Kingdom" is available from

2. Angel, C (2014) "A Minimum Price For Homecare, Version 2.1" uses reasonable assumptions to calculate the price of a sustainable homecare service which complies with the 2014-15 National Minimum Wage, including careworkers' travel time and travel costs. See

3. Infographics from the report, covering Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and each of England's nine government regions are available from Media sources may reproduce any of the infographics in their reporting, subject to the condition that they are not materially altered.

4. The weighted average hourly price for older people's homecare in the English regions during the sample week was:

* North East: £11.64 per hour
* North West: £12.17 per hour
* Yorkshire & The Humber: £13.23 per hour
* East Midlands: £13.51 per hour
* Greater London: £13.61 per hour
* West Midlands: £13.90 per hour
* East of England: £14.06 per hour
* South East: £15.54 per hour
* South West: £15.85 per hour

5. The eight recommendations in the report include:

* Authorities must pay a rate which is at least consistent with National Minimum Wage and the full costs of running a homecare service.

* Transparent, open-book, costing exercises to assess the actual costs of care in the local area.

* Authorities which aspire to payment of the Living Wage or London Living Wage should factor these additional costs into the prices they pay their providers.

* Governments of all four UK administrations should require statutory regulators to undertake effective oversight of the commissioning functions of councils and trusts.

* Governments in each UK administration must ensure that purchasing authorities have sufficient resources to pay the necessary fees to providers so that they can meet their legal and social responsibilities.

6. United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is the professional association for more than 2,200 domiciliary care providers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 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.

7. 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.

8. The majority of homecare is funded by the state (usually by local council social services departments, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), 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.

9. Interviewees from UKHCA for broadcast media are available on request.

Colin Angel, Policy and Campaigns Director
United Kingdom Homecare Association Ltd
Sutton Business Centre, Restmor Way, Wallington, SM6 7AH

Telephone: 020 8661 8188
Mobile: 07920 788993

Registered in England, No. 3083104.

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