UK home care providers on “brink of collapse”, BBC investigation reveals

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69 home care companies have closed their doors in the last three months, while one in four of the UK’s 2,500 home care companies is at risk of insolvency, according to a report by the BBC’s Panorama program.

Its investigation has revealed a national shortage of home care workers and a lack of funding.

Operators say they are struggling to recruit and retain staff because of financial pressures. About two million more carers will be needed to cope with the UK’s ageing population by 2025, according to an estimate by the Centre for Workforce Intelligence.

Home care operators have also cancelled contracts with 95 UK councils, saying they cannot delivered services for the amount of funding they receive.

The cancelled contracts figure was supplied by 197 of 212 UK councils via a Freedom of Information request.

The Local Government Association says historic under-funding of adult social care, an ageing population and the National Living Wage are pushing the “care provider market to the brink of collapse”.

Since the introduction of CDC in the UK 10 years ago, the demand for home care has increased dramatically.

But since 2010, councils, which are responsible for providing aged care services, have been hit with a 40% real terms reduction in their government grants according to the LGA.

It estimates a minimum of 30 to 35% of councils’ budgets goes to adult social care. Yet it also found it made up 28.5% of council savings in 2016/17 – about £941M.

Last week, the Government announced Councils would receive another £2B in funding for social care over the next three years – £1B this year, followed by £674M in 2018-19 and £337M in 2019-20.

However chair of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board Izzi Seccombe said the extra funding was “just a starting point” and that a long-term solution was needed to reform the system.

Pictured: Government funding for social care in cash and real terms. Credit: NHS Digital