UKHCA

United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

Safeguarding alerts in homecare services - 28/02/2017

BBC radio's "File on 4" programme today (28 February 2016) provides figures about allegations of abuse by homecare workers, obtained under Freedom of Information legislation from around half of the UK's local councils (including the health and social care trusts in Northern Ireland).

The data covers just over 23,000 safeguarding alerts reported to councils over the last three years, of which over half related to the broad category of 'neglect'.

Bridget Warr CBE, chief executive of the United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) said:

"It is extremely important that people are able to raise concerns about their care, or the care received by family members. It is vital that concerns are investigated, even where they may be trivial, or prove to be unfounded.

"Wilful acts of abuse and neglect are never acceptable, and those who deliberately abuse older and disabled people should expect to be removed from the workforce and face prosecution, where appropriate."

However, Mrs Warr also drew attention to a state-funded care system close to breaking point because of cuts to local councils' budgets:

"Councils buy almost three quarters of all homecare delivered. Budget cuts have led many councils to ration the amount of time allowed to provide care. This can create a rushed and undignified system, which is unsuitable for frail, older and disabled people.

"A social care system which is grossly underfunded will not be able to meet the standards we all expect. It is a matter about which Government has received repeated warnings that must be addressed urgently."

Ends.

Notes to Editors

1. BBC Radio 4 File on 4 is at 8.00 pm on 28 February 2017. There is more information about the programme at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08g58fl and a BBC News report at: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39042266

2. United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is the professional association for more than 2,000 domiciliary care providers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

3. As a member-led professional association, UKHCA’s mission is to promote high quality, sustainable care services so that people can continue to live at home and in their local community.

4. UKHCA member organisations agree to comply with a Code of Practice, available at: https://www.ukhca.co.uk/ukhcacodeofpractice.aspx.

5. For further information please contact:

Colin Angel, Policy Director
United Kingdom Homecare Association Ltd
Sutton Business Centre, Restmor Way, Wallington, SM6 7AH

Telephone: 020 8661 8188
Mobile: 07393 012113
E-mail: media@ukhca.co.uk
Website: www.ukhca.co.uk
Twitter: @ukhca

Registered in England, No. 3083104.

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