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News - 4 March 2015

Not all Home care is funded at the same rate

Just one in seven councils in the UK is paying a "fair" price for home care for the elderly, according to a survey by the UK Homecare Association (UKHA) poll of more than 200 councils, which found 28 paid a "minimum price" of £15.74 an hour.

This is the price the body, which represents the agencies that provide the home care for councils, believes reflects the national minimum wage.

The UKHA warned if the squeeze on fees continued, the care sector would become "unsustainable".

Lavinia Newman, Founder of ABDS and a qualified Mediator comments:
“The "minimum price" has been calculated by using the national minimum wage and then adding to that the costs of running the service, including travel costs for staff and pension contributions. Of the £15.74 fee, 47p is set aside for profit or surplus.”

UKHA asked all 211 bodies for the information, under the Freedom of Information Act. Of these, 206 responded, with 28 paying above that rate to external agencies, which provide the majority of the care in the UK.

The UK average was £13.66 an hour, with Northern Ireland having the lowest average rates at £11.35 out of the four parts of the UK. Wales had the highest at £14.28.

UKHA policy director Colin Angel said: "Low prices paid for home care carry a number of risks, including poor terms and conditions for the workforce, insufficient resources to organise the service… Ultimately, the care market will become commercially unsustainable."

Caroline Abrahams, of Age UK, said the low rates were "just another symptom of a social care system that is grotesquely underfunded".

Councillor Izzi Seccombe, of the Local Government Association, said the squeeze on finances had
"forced councils to ask providers to run services on tighter margins".

If you need any help and advice on Care Homes and Nursing Homes, contact Peter Ham, Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Liz Kennett to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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