What’s New in the Home Care Sector

Unfortunately not a lot, more bad news! ………

The UK Home Care Industry is on the brink of collapse with companies going bankrupt or pulling out of the publicly commissioned & funded Home Care Sector.  Unprofitable contracts are being handed back at an alarming pace. 

The extra funding announced in the last budget, £2bn over the next 3 years, falls far short of what is needed.  You may recall paying an extra 5% on your council tax bill which was supposed to be ring fenced for Social Care.  This company has seen an increase of 20 pence per hour and a decrease in the half hourly rate from one local authority, whilst another is still trying to drive down the proposed increase from ourselves which they were notified about in June 2018.  This despite the fact that registration fees, pension contributions, wage increases including the minimum wage (which we pay above), paid travel time, fuel including diesel, petrol and kerosene heating oil, insurance premium tax, admin support & equipment, recruiting & training etc. etc. have all increased.  We are still charging approximately £6 less now than local authorities did when they had “in house carers” some 7 years ago??

Whilst we understand that Local Authority budgets have been cut because of a lack of funding from central government we cannot accept further cuts to the price we are paid to provide our services.  It is with a heavy heart that we have concluded that we will have to withdraw our services from the publically funded care sector sooner rather than later.  

Over the past 3 years we have been experiencing a shortage of people joining the care sector and the new immigration rules have made it even more difficult to recruit sufficient staff to look after our existing service users.  We have reduced the hours we can provide by 30% over the last 2 years.

The funding crisis is having a knock on effect in our hospitals with bed blocking by patients who cannot be discharged because quite simply there are not enough available carers to look after them.  Ask yourself this, would you like to stay in hospital indefinitely due to a lack of social care at home?

The Care Sector is dominated by small and medium size businesses.  Larger companies within the care industry are either umbrella organisations providing franchises or have withdrawn from the sector altogether.  There are some new comers however it remains to be seen how long their commitment to their service users last when they realise that there is no financial gain to be made?  There are very few large companies who remain in the sector.  The sector is fragmented and vulnerable.

The numbers of people who require care is increasing year on year however the number receiving care is decreasing as local authority’s raise the eligibility criteria and threshold.

Far too many providers are at risk of failure and there is little incentive to stay within the Home Care Sector.

 Who will look after you when we have all gone???

“Thank you so much for all the help, care and kindness you gave to A**** and the support you gave to me.  I don’t know how people would manage without carers like you”?

Jean