UKHCA

United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

Election result and homecare services - 09/06/2017

A rapid resolution of the political leadership of the UK is urgent, so that a new Government can build a consensus to secure proper funding of care services and to ensure there is a sufficient social care workforce following exit from the European Union, according to the United Kingdom Homecare Association, as the result of the UK's 2017 general election was announced (note 1).

UKHCA's Chair, Mike Padgham, said:

"Social care has been a key issue in the election campaign. There is too much at stake for social care to remain an undervalued service. As a new government is formed, a senior minister for social care is needed, to achieve cross-party agreement and drive though the changes which are urgently needed.

"The population will look to our next government to ensure that care is properly funded to meet their needs. People need to be clear about what the state will provide, and what they must fund themselves for their long term care."

A hung parliament means pledges from the parties' manifestos, including the Conservative election proposals to introduce a £100,000 financial threshold for people using homecare in England and a cap on care costs, are likely to be subject to considerable debate and scrutiny (note 2). So many people are affected by social care that our next government must provide a system which works and is acceptable to the public.

The previous Conservative government had committed to publishing a green paper on social care in England. We will look to the next government to move quickly in gaining cross-party consensus and take action. UKHCA's Manifesto 2017 (note 3) contains key issues that a green paper should cover, including:

  • Requiring councils and the health service to offer home-based care as the first option for all their citizens and patients;
  • Funding care services properly, and ensuring that a statutory regulator is empowered to take action where local care markets risk becoming unsustainable; and
  • Implementing incentives for individuals and their families to encourage people to make sound financial plans for their care needs.

The new government must also ensure that the Care Act 2014 is properly implemented by local councils in England. This should include a provision that councils are held accountable for the way that their decisions impact on local care markets.

Turning to Brexit negotiations, Mike Padgham continued:

"Uncertainly about the social care workforce must be resolved as part of the Government's pressing responsibility to negotiate the UK's exit from the European Union. A well-functioning care system will only be fit for purpose if the nation's social care and health services can recruit a sufficient workforce for the needs of our population as we leave the EU.

"UKHCA will work with the new government, devolved administrations and other parliamentarians, to ensure that people who qualify for state-funded care benefit from properly funded services and everyone can make informed decisions on their future care needs."

Ends.

Notes for Editors

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

2. The election on 8 June 2017 was for seats in the UK government. Social care policy in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is devolved to the governments of their respective administrations. In general terms, legislation relating to social care passed by government in Parliament (such as the Care Act 2014) relates to social care in England. Other matters, including migration policy, generally apply in all four devolved administrations.

3. UKHCA's Manifesto 2017 sets-out seven priorities for a new government. It is available from www.ukhca.co.uk/manifesto

4. Homecare encompasses provision of personal care to people in their own homes. For many, homecare is the preferred choice for people who would otherwise need to move away from home and into residential care services.

5. The majority of homecare in England is funded by the state (usually by local council social services departments and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). However, homecare services are largely delivered by independent and voluntary sector providers working under contracts with the statutory sector.

6. 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.

7. For further information please contact:

Michelle Gederon, Communications Officer
United Kingdom Homecare Association Ltd
Sutton Business Centre, Restmor Way, Wallington, SM6 7AH

Telephone: 020 8661 8188
Mobile: 07393 012 113
E-mail: media@ukhca.co.uk
Website: www.ukhca.co.uk
Twitter: @ukhca

Registered in England, No. 3083104.

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