The homecare deficit 2016: a report on the funding of older people’s homecare across the United Kingdom
UNITED KINGDOM HOMECARE ASSOCIATION
Drawing on data obtained from freedom of information requests, this report analyses average prices paid by councils for home care services across all four administrations of the United Kingdom. It also provides a breakdown by England’s nine government regions. The data were obtained during a sample week in April 2016 following the introduction of the new National Living Wage. The analysis found that only one in ten authorities paid an average price at or above UKHCA’s minimum price of £16.70 per hour. It also found that seven authorities paid average prices which the UKHCA believe are unlikely even to cover care workers’ wages and on-costs of £11.94 per hour. Only 24 councils had completed calculations for the costs of home care. The report highlights the low rates that many councils are paying independent and voluntary homecare providers. It argues that this underfunding is a root cause of the instability of local homecare markets and the low pay and conditions of the homecare workforce. The analysis also exposes the level of risk that councils place on a system intended to support older and disabled people. The report makes a number of recommendations, which include the need for local authorities to provide calculations of their costs of homecare.