UKHCA

United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

Government cap on care costs to be delayed until 2020 - 17/07/2015

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.”

The original intention of the care cap was to protect a significant number of people from catastrophic care costs. However, UKHCA believe that the cap, as proposed, would have offered protection to a much smaller proportion of people than originally envisaged, but with a significant financial burden for local authorities to address.

Introduction of the cap in 2016 would have also coincided with the implementation of the National Living Wage, an initiative estimated to cost councils more than £1 billion a year in additional staff costs by 2020 (note 6), the majority of which will also fall due to the State (note 7).

That people are adequately prepared for the future cost of their care and support remains urgent and we hope government will use this opportunity to engage in public consultation on the balance of responsibility between the individual and the state.

In the time before the cap is introduced UKHCA believe a more proportionate system of calculating eligibility for financial protection should be developed and strongly recommends that government consider tax relief measures for people who fund care from their own net assets.

Ends.

Notes for Editors

1. United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is the professional association for more than 2,200 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 has a vetting procedure for its members, all of whom agree to abide by the Association’s Code of Practice, which can be found at www.ukhca.co.uk/codeofpractice.aspx.
4. There are over 9,800 registered homecare providers across the UK, the majority of which (86%) are in the independent and voluntary sectors. We estimate that these organisations employ over 578,000 homecare workers, who deliver over 6.25 million hours of care per week to around 505,000 service users, valued at £5.1 billion per annum.

5. 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.

6. The Local Government Association media release on the potential costs of the National Living Wage can be found at: http://www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/media-releases/-/journal_content/56/10180/7386419/NEWS

7. 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.

8. UKHCA’s report “The Homecare Deficit” provides an overview of the underfunding of older people’s homecare by councils in Great Britain and the Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland, and summarises UKHCA’s calculation of the minimum price for homecare to provide compliance with the Minimum Wage (including careworkers’ travel time). See: http://www.ukhca.co.uk/downloads.aspx?ID=458.

9. The letter from the Care and Support Minister Alistair Burt announcing the delay in the implementation of the cap on care costs can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/delay-in-the-implementation-of-the-cap-on-care-costs

10. For further information please contact:
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
E-mail: media@ukhca.co.uk
Website: www.ukhca.co.uk

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