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BBC Panorama: Home Care in Crisis

Published on 20th March 2017

BBC Panorama have yet again focused their investigations on the ‘care crisis’ British social care finds itself in. The focus of the documentary, which airs tonight, is the increase in home care providers refusing council-funded care packages. Panorama reveals that care companies have cancelled contracts with 95 councils because they cannot deliver care services for the amount being paid.

TrustedCare supports thousands of care-seekers a month, both private and state-funded, in finding a care provider who can support their needs. A comparison of the difference in cost between private and state-funded care packages in a sample of 70 care services spanning the breadth of the UK, shows an average price difference of £260 a week.

Councillor Izzi Seccombe, Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils across England and Wales, said: ‘We have warned that the combination of the historic under-funding of adult social care, and the significant pressures of an ageing population and the national living wage, are pushing the care provider market to the brink of collapse.’

With regards under-funding, nearly every council in the country (147 of 151) has confirmed that they will be rising council taxes by a maximum of 3% providing the money is allocated to the council’s social care budget. The LGA have confirmed that the extra £543 million that local authorities will raise, will be dwarfed by the £600 million cost of paying the national living wage.

Further to this, The Centre for Workforce Intelligence, estimates at least 2 million more Carers will be needed by 2025 in England alone, in home-care and care-homes to cover the increasing demand for care. The demand for social care in the UK cannot currently be met with over 6,500 people stuck in acute hospital beds, despite being well enough to leave.

A report from the National Audit Office (NAO) found that delays in discharging over 65s from hospital currently costs the NHS £820m a year. If they were released and had care in a residential or nursing home or in their own home, that could cost £180m a year, leaving a £640m-a-year saving.

Are we really facing a care crisis? Does an integrated care system where spending across care settings comes from the same pot within each county, along with private and council funded social care packages being given equal monetary value, provide the answer to a lot of problems being faced?

Watch Panorama's 'Britain's Home Care Crisis' this evening, Monday 20th March, 8.30pm, BBC One. 

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