Home care is patchy, says national director

The national director for social care challenged councils over the quality of home care and carers services.

Kathryn Hudson told delegates that home care services were “patchy” and, in many areas, failed to maintain people in their own homes.

Although councils were often constrained by budgets to buy “the cheapest option”, Hudson said commissioners needed to place greater emphasis on service quality.

Hudson also said too many carers were unaware of their right to an independent assessment. “Carers are often not assessed independently of the people for whom they care. We need to improve our practice here.”

And she suggested there could be problems extending individual budgets, which are currently being piloted in 13 areas, to the whole country.

She said it could destabilise council finances if large numbers of users rejected existing services such as day centres.

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