United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

Leaked EU migration policy will create 'a perfect storm' - 06/09/2017

The ability of the homecare sector to recruit and retain sufficient careworkers will be significantly challenged if proposals contained in a leaked Home Office paper on EU migration policy (note 1) are implemented, says the United Kingdom Homecare Association, the professional body for domiciliary care providers (note 2).

UKHCA notes that this is a leaked report, which the Home Office has said does not represent current Government policy. However, it is probably the best indication to date of the possible future of UK migration policy after the UK leaves the EU.

UKHCA’s Policy Director, Colin Angel, said:

“Recruitment to the homecare sector is already difficult for the majority of employers, and the number of people in the UK who will need home-based support will continue to increase.

“The combination of a massively under-funded social care system, and a possible reduction in the numbers of available workers in the UK labour market is a perfect storm.”

Data available suggests that around 7% of the current homecare workforce are non-British EEA nationals, with the highest proportion based in London and the South of England (notes 3 and 4). If the proposals contained in this document are implemented, this will hit older and disabled people’s care across the UK, with the hardest effects likely to be dense urban areas and the South of England.

An estimated 70% of homecare is purchased by the state (note 6), yet successive governments have repeatedly ducked finding a long-term solution to funding people’s care. As a result, many homecare providers have already begun to exit homecare contracts with councils where they have ceased to be financially viable, or do not enable sufficient staff recruitment to meet contractual requirements.

Colin Angel continued:

“Government needs to give very serious consideration to the impact of post-Brexit migration policy, or consider identifying shortage occupations, including social care. We are extremely pessimistic that the domestic workforce will be able to provide the numbers of workers required for the future care of older and disabled people.”


Notes for Editors

1. See: Leaked document reveals UK Brexit plan to deter EU immigrants, The Guardian, 6th September 2017.

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

3. Estimated figure for non-British EEA nations made by UKHCA, based on data from the National Minimum Dataset Social Care (for England), as at April 2017. The range by government regions is: London (14%); South East (10%); Eastern (10%); West Midlands (5%); South West (7%); East Midlands (3%); North West (2%); Yorkshire & the Humber (2%); North East (1%). Equivalent figures for the other UK administrations are not available.

4. According to data held in the National Minimum Dataset Social Care there are an estimated 665,000 homecare job roles in England, working with employers from approximately 8,500 locations registered with the statutory regulator, the Care Quality Commission. Equivalent figures for the other UK administrations are not available.

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 away from home and into residential care services.

6. The majority of homecare is funded by the state (usually by local council social services departments and 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. 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 8160
Mobile: 07393 012 113
Twitter: @ukhca

Registered in England, No. 3083104.

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