Smaller home care providers could be avoiding regulation by
limiting their services to private purchasers, according to the
head of the sector’s representative body.
United Kingdom Home Care Association chair Fiona Street said the
costs of registration may be deterring smaller firms from
contracting with councils, in the belief they could avoid detection
by serving private clients alone.
Her comments followed the publication of Laing and Buisson’s annual
survey of the home care market.
The social care market analyst reveals increasing polarisation
between larger providers contracting with councils and smaller
agencies serving private purchasers.
“They may feel that if they are not contracting then they don’t
need to register,” Street said.
“I suspect that there will be very small providers for whom
registration may be onerous.”
Although smaller home care agencies pay a lower rate for
registration than larger providers, health minister Stephen Ladyman
last week announced a 20 per cent rise in charges across the
While insisting they did everything they could to encourage people
to stay within the law, Street admitted: “If you are looking after
just half a dozen people or a dozen people that would seem a very
Laing and Buisson’s survey finds that private purchasers account
for 20 per cent of the home care market, with the rest commissioned
by the state.