UKHCA

United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

Steep increase in CQC fees proposed - 02/11/2015

Homecare provider representatives hit out at dramatic increase in regulatory fees proposed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England (note 1).

CQC has proposed a 313% increase in fees for homecare agencies, phased over the next 2 or 4 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.

The homecare sector is already running at a deficit, which is predicted to grow to £750 million over the financial year 2016/17 following the introduction of the National Living Wage. The new CQC fee increase represents an above-inflation increase in operating costs, despite 93% of homecare providers reporting a real terms reduction in fee rates paid by councils over the last twelve months.

CQC says that the fees it charges registered providers makes up a large proportion of the income it needs to carry out its statutory duties, in 2015/16, the proposed fees will generate £113.5m across the social care and health sector. The Commission has also confirmed that it is also modelling 25 – 40% cuts in central government funding.

CQC states that an increase in its costs means that the proportion of fees recovered in 2014/15 is much lower than it has been in previous years and says that this is not sustainable under HM Treasury requirements and now the Commission must look to achieve a higher recovery on fees. It intends to achieve “full chargeable cost recovery” either by the end of the financial year for 2017/18 or 2019/20, which means that large percentage fee increases will happen quickly.

Colin Angel, UKHCA’s Policy Director, said:

“Having represented homecare providers on CQC’s fees advisory panel the proposed increases are outrageous.

“Homecare providers have been largely supportive of the new approach to inspection and the introduction of quality ratings, but the Commission is yet to demonstrate that it represents good value for money for the organisations it regulates.

CQC needs to make improvements in several areas, including a faster turnaround between inspection and publication of reports; making greater use of the voice of people who use the services; reducing its focus on paperwork; and training inspectors to understand the services they inspect.”

UKHCA also notes that CQC is currently behind in hitting its inspection targets and is already set to miss its deadline to inspect all adult social care, and out of hours services in England by 30 September next year.

Ends

Notes for Editors

1. CQC’s consultation document on the proposed fee structure will be published at 12.30hrs on Monday 2 November 2015 at www.cqc.org.uk/content/health-and-social-care-fees-consultation

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

3. 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.

4. 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.

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 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.

7. Regularly updated statistical information about homecare services in all four UK administrations is available from "An Overview of the UK Domiciliary Care Sector" at www.ukhca.co.uk/downloads.aspx?id=109.

8. A high resolution royalty-free image of Colin Angel, Policy Director is available for use. www.ukhca.co.uk/images/highres/angel_colin_20140701_079.jpg

9. 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

Registered in England, No. 3083104.

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