News Story

Councils in England ‘pay too little for homecare’

February 4, 2014

Today BBC released a news story showing most councils in England pay less than the recommended minimum for personal home care.

Data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act found only 4 in 101 cases showed providers being paid the minimum figure of £15.19 an hour, the minimum cost suggested by UKHCA. The average minimum rate paid by councils was found to be £12.26 an hour.

The figure of £15.19 is calculated by looking at the wages paid to the care worker, travel costs, training, agency fees, insurance and pensions. Trevor Broklebank, chief executive of Home Instead Senior Care in Salford, said “It’s impossible to deliver quality care for the hourly rate that’s been offered.”

The Care and Support Alliance have shown in recent analysis the squeeze on social care, and sitting behind the squeeze is the fact that councils have had to reduce their adult social care budgets by £2.6bn in the last three years alone, according to social services directors.

Richard Hawkes, Chair of the Care and Support Alliance said today;

“This is yet more proof that chronic underfunding has left the social care system on its knees.

“Up and down the country social care makes a huge difference to people’s lives.

“But councils are forced to ration care. Care providers say it’s becoming impossible to work on the ground. Ultimately older and disabled people are left without the support they need to get up, get washed, get dressed and get out of the house. Without that support they become isolated, more likely to slip into crisis and end up in A&E.

“The Minister has engaged with the sector and acknowledged the issue. The Government’s Care Bill reforms, which are set to be voted on this month, will make a big difference.

“But the plans must go hand-in-hand with a commitment to make sure that those who need support to live independently get community-based care and the investment to make it happen”