United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

UKHCA responds to the Good Care Guide’s findings - 07/02/2016

United Kingdom Homecare Association makes the following comments on the Good Care Guide’s analysis of 900 self-reported ratings submitted by people who use homecare services and their families through the organisation’s website.

Individuals’ experience of care services are significant measures which must be taken seriously. However, the apparent dissatisfaction reported in the Good Care Guide’s findings do not mirror the quality ratings awarded by the Care Quality Commission in England (note 1).
While not directly comparable measures, the ratings from over 2,000 homecare agencies rated by the regulator are:

• Outstanding: 1%
• Good: 70%
• Requires improvement: 27%
• Inadequate: 2%

Regrettably, we cannot determine, from the data made available to us, whether the ratings provided relate predominately to (a) the quality of care delivered by homecare providers, or (b) how services are commissioned (largely by councils and the NHS) to meet people’s expectations and needs.

While not agreeing with Good Care Guide’s conclusion that people’s satisfaction with homecare is rapidly decreasing, the experience of people supported at home is a serious issue for individuals, their families and society.

UKHCA and our member organisations have repeatedly highlighted concerns about the impact of public spending constraints on the commissioning practices of local authorities.

Around 70% of homecare is funded by the state, predominantly by local councils. Major reports have identified a care system where councils frequently expect significant amounts of intimate, personal care to be delivered in insufficient time to meet the needs of frail elderly and disabled people. People supported at home can often feel that their care has to be rushed or impersonal, with people forced to make difficult decisions about what care they can do without on a given day.

Inadequate state funding of homecare services has also had a direct impact on the recruitment and retention of a stable workforce producing high staff turnover. This impacts on the continuity of care and prevents really effective, stable relationships developing between people and their careworkers. Providers also tell us that inadequate funding severely affects training budgets for their workforce compounding the problem.

People’s satisfaction and confidence in the care services they receive are issues which Government has failed to address through adequate funding, or by any effective policing of whether councils comply with Government’s statutory guidance for social care services.

The Treasury estimate that the new 2% “council tax precept” for adult social care and the Better Care Fund could provide £5.5 billion funding in England by 2019-20. Much of that money will not be available soon enough, and there is no guarantee that it will reach frontline homecare services. Overall, the King’s Fund has estimated that a further £2 billion to £2.7 billion will be needed by 2019/20.

Councils have to make tough decisions on how they prioritise their total budget against adequate social care and how they use that money efficiently. However, they will not be able to meet people’s needs adequately, without proper investment from central government. Without this, many care providers who wish to deliver high quality care face the stark choice of ceasing to provide services to their main local authority customers and supplying solely to individuals and customers willing to fund the full costs of their services.

Note for Editors

1. The Good Care Guide appears to offer individual ratings of a self-selecting sample of around 900 people in 2015, with the sort of polarisation in scores that one would anticipate from the methodology used. The Care Quality Commission forms an assessment of provider organisations against a range of pre-defined criteria assessed by statutory inspectors, and include the views of people who use services.

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. 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

Registered in England, No. 3083104.


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