United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

The Homecare Deficit 2018 - 25/10/2018

Councils in Great Britain and Northern Ireland's Health and Social Care Trusts are continuing to exploit their dominant purchasing power, according to a new report from UKHCA, the professional association for homecare providers.

The author claims that "Councils are buying homecare services for older people on the cheap'" and calls on Government to fund care at a sustainable level in the forthcoming Budget.

"The Homecare Deficit 2018" exposes the scale of underfunding of a fragile state-funded sector across each of England's nine government regions and in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (notes 2).

Using data obtained under Freedom of Information legislation, UKHCA found that the average prices paid for homecare in the UK is just £16.12 per hour, almost £2 per hour less than UKHCA's Minimum Price for Homecare of £18.01 per hour (notes 3 and 4).

UKHCA calculates that the UK's homecare sector needs at least £402 million per year to ensure that homecare workers receive the statutory National Living Wage, while also ensuring that homecare providers can meet their statutory obligations.

However, the size of the deficit this year would be £921 million if national governments and local councils were to commit to raising the status of the homecare workforce to at least the independently calculated Real Living Wage.

Neither of these figures account for the additional costs of people currently going without care and support.

UKHCA's Policy Director and author of the report, Colin Angel, said:

"Rates paid by the majority of authorities do not cover adequate wages for our vital homecare workforce and the costs of running safe and effective services.

"These rates also illustrate why homecare providers are increasingly left with no choice but to refuse to take on, or handback, care to authorities.

"State-funded homecare is also being rationed by councils in a way which leaves many older and disabled people without the support they need to remain independent.

"The governments of each of the four UK nations need to look at our findings and fund care properly. Continuing to muddle-on as they have done for a decade is not sustainable."

UKHCA has calculated the average prices paid for care in England's nine government regions, and the devolved administrations, are as follows:

  • South East: £18.20 per hour
  • South West: £18.20 per hour
  • East Midlands: £17.23 per hour
  • East of England: £16.99 per hour
  • Greater London: £15.75 per hour
  • West Midlands: £15.65 per hour
  • Yorkshire and the Humber: £15.51 per hour
  • North West: £14.60 per hour
  • North East: £14.15 per hour
  • Wales: £16.78 per hour
  • Scotland: £16.54 per hour
  • Northern Ireland: £13.70 per hour


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.

2. The "Homecare Deficit 2018" will be published by UKHCA at 00:01 hrs on Thursday, 25 October 2018 from

3. UKHCA's Minimum Price for Homecare is a rate calculated to ensure that careworkers receive at least the statutory minimum wage for all their working time (including their travel time); that other wage costs, including NI and pension contributions are met and that the care service is able to cover its fixed costs with a modest (3%) profit or surplus. The full calculation is available from:

Approximately 70% of all homecare services in the United Kingdom are purchased by local councils from independent and voluntary sector homecare providers. Figures referred to in this release relate to the cost of a managed care service, rather than just the wage costs of the workforce.

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