Blog | Angela Gifford

The UK Aged and Disability Care Sectors are in Crisis. Should Australian Care Providers Take Note

A decade ago UK care sectors: aged care facilities and home and community care were thriving. Home care providers offered a range of care services, aged care facilities were upgrading and both sectors were making profits. The main purchaser of care services was the Government via local councils who purchased the care from independent providers.

Younger disabled people could get their assessed care paid for by the ILF (Independent Living Fund similar to the NDIS), older people needing care who could not be independent fee payers due to their lack of financial means would have their care fees both in their own home and in a residential home paid for by the State.

The situation in 2016 is that:
The State is funding less homecare, funding it at rates which does not enable the home care provider to make a profit. Approximately 60% of home care providers have contracts with local councils, the council is their main customer, as a result home care providers are handing contracts back, putting their business up for sale, some shutting down. Home care for them is not financially viable.

Many current individuals receiving State funding have had their funding reduced therefore cutting the amount of care they can purchase.

Aged care facilities are now refusing to take State funded clients as the payment for these clients does not cover the cost of caring for them. Yesterday (5/5/16) on BBC Radio 4 the estimate was given that in 2019, one in three of current existing care facilities will be closed.

The regulatory body, CQC advises that it is currently overseeing 30% of the aged care facility sector with reference to their financial status the worry being that if a business fails then the residents have to be found alternative care.

There are conversations around solving the problem, e.g. the State becoming a provider again, additional taxes to be raised, new insurance requirements to name but a few.

None of this will happen quickly and meanwhile the loss of care providers will continue.

However, care providers in both sectors who have concentrated on private, fee paying clients will survive. Their biggest threat is the competition which means services and facilities provide high quality services, give value for money and are totally customer orientated.

Result : Customers are happy and care providers make profits.

By:  Angela E Gifford
Posted:  6 May 2016

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