The independent homecare sector could face “collapse” if local councils do not raise contract prices to meet the full cost of homecare, professional association warned today.
The United Kingdom Homecare Association is urging the government to recognise that the sector is underfunded and to stop “price squeezes”.
On average, local councils in England outsource 75% of state-funded homecare to the independent sector. The UKHCA claims that local councils frequently “abuse their dominant purchasing position to drive down the price”. It is urging commissioners to review the cost of care services on an open-book basis.
According to a survey carried out by the UKHCA, 62% of independent care providers received a contract price rise of 1.77% this year, leaving 38% facing no increase.
But the actual cost of providing homecare is rising above inflation and must meet the increasing costs of recruitment, retention and regulation, says the UKHCA.
Skills for Care estimates that staff turnover in the homecare sector is as high as 29.5%. Colin Angel, UKHCA’s head of policy and communication, said: “This is unsustainable. Rewarding workers for their expertise is vital to maintain and develop capacity.”
Chief executive of UKHCA Lesley Rimmer called on the government to increase resources for social care in the current comprehensive spending review.
A Fair Price for Care (UKHCA’s position on funding)
Essential information on