United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

Homecare key to improving NHS discharge delays - 26/05/2016

Over twice the number of older people than previously thought may be left waiting in hospital despite being ready for discharge, according to a National Audit Office (NAO) report today, 26 May 2016 (note 1).

Delayed discharge from hospital significantly affects the wellbeing of older people and United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) welcomes NAO’s call for “radical action” to prevent further deterioration and an additional financial strain on the NHS and local government.

NAO have clearly identified challenges of workforce supply in the social care system, which in the case of the homecare sector is reflected in a careworker turnover rate of over 40% (note 2).

UKHCA has repeatedly highlighted the impact of underfunding the homecare sector on employers’ ability to recruit and retain skilled and experienced workers.

UKHCA’s Policy Director, Colin Angel, said:
“Older people should not face the risks of deteriorating independence or reduced mental wellbeing because the system traps them in hospital.

“A properly resourced homecare sector could reduce unnecessary stays in hospital by up to 314,000 bed days a year – a saving of over £95 million for the NHS.”

UKHCA believes that clinical commissioning groups and councils should also make much better use of sustainable contracting relationships with independent and voluntary sector homecare providers, recognising that predictable demand for services is a positive driver for increased capacity.

Councils and hospitals should also consider whether they have made best use of the practices described in NHS England’s “Quick Guide: Better use of care at home” (note 3).


Notes for editors

1. National Audit Office (2016) Discharging Older Patients from Hospital”

2. Estimate of homecare worker turnover rates in the independent and voluntary sector drawn from Skills for Care National Minimum Dataset for Social Care (NMDS-SC).

3. NHS England (2016) Quick Guide: Better use of care at home.

4. 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.

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

8. A high resolution royalty-free image of Colin Angel, Policy Director is available for use.

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

Registered in England, No. 3083104.

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