UKHCA

United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

Homecare sector response to ADASS Budget Survey - 13/07/2016

Inadequate state funding continues to threaten social care services for older and disabled people in England. Underfunding has also contributed to an increasingly fragile homecare market, according to the United Kingdom Homecare Association’s analysis of new research, published today (notes 1 and 2).

UKHCA is perturbed by an apparent 3% increase in demand for social care services for older people eligible for state-funded support, which does not appear to have been met by increasingly over-stretched councils.

The report also carries a prediction of further cuts to services and reductions in the funding allocated to people in receipt of state-funded care, because the tax-raising powers provided in the ‘social care precept’ have failed to meet more than two-thirds of cost increases resulting from the new National Living Wage (note 3).

UKHCA’s Policy Director, Colin Angel, said:

“Social service directors’ concerns about the state-funded market are stark. Almost 9 out of 10 directors (84%) admit that their social care providers are facing financial difficulty and a similar proportion, (85%) believe that their providers face challenges in the quality of services they delivered.”

ADASS provides evidence of homecare providers withdrawing from the state-funded market (note 4). It is significant that 2.5 times more people were affected by homecare providers going out of business or handing-back contracts to councils than has been the case in the residential sector (note 5).

This evidence comes just a week after two homecare providers publicly announced withdrawal from delivering services to two councils in the North West of England (note 6).

Colin Angel, continued:

“Many homecare providers have exhausted their willingness to trade with those councils unable to fund care properly, where continuing to do so amounts to subsidising under-resourced councils. We expect to see more providers handing back unsustainable contracts, or leaving local markets.”

“A fragile state-funded homecare sector has a significant impact on people’s lives. It creates anxiety and often ends relationships between service users and their careworkers.

“The ADASS Budget Survey is a further wake-up call for Westminster Government, and requires radical action by councils to avert wider failure of local care markets.”

Ends

Notes for editors

1. 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.

2. The Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) publish their annual budget survey at 00:01 hrs on Wednesday, 13 July 2016 at www.adass.org.uk/budget-survey-2016.

3. The Social Care Precept enables councils with social service responsibility to increase council tax by up to 2%, intended to be ring-fenced for adult social care. Most (93.4%) of councils have adopted the full precept this year, although 40% of councils did so without raising some or all of the additional 1.99% of council tax available to them without triggering a local referendum.

4. In a six month period during 2015-16, 48 councils (32%) reported one or more homecare providers had ceased trading in their area, affecting 3,925 people’s care. 59 councils (39%) reported one or more providers handing back contracts, affecting 3,715 people’s care.

5. 7,730 people receiving homecare were affected by homecare agency closures and contracts handed back to councils. This compares to 3,184 people living in residential care facilities in the same six-month period.

6. See UKHCA media release “Provider withdrawal from local state-funded contracts” at www.ukhca.co.uk/mediastatement_information.aspx?releaseID=233393.

7. 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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