Blog | Angela Gifford

The Home Care Sector. Be Careful What You Wish For

A regular steam of new customers, an agreed financial rate for services provided throughout the contract, invoices paid on time, cash flow projection looking good. This was what was wished for by many UK care providers who decided that Government funded customers were the route to prosperity.

For a few years after the introduction of councils purchasing care packages for their local population this was indeed the situation.

However, now councils have reduced Central Government Funding, their across the board budgets are continually being tightened, they have rising costs and more people needing care, it is care providers who have had to experience the fallout.

Spending on adult social care in the UK has fallen in real terms since 2010 by 6% and the number of people receiving Government funded care has been reduced by almost 25%.

Care providers, once a contract for a period of time has been signed, have found it difficult, in many cases, to go back to ask for more to cover the rise in the legislated Living Wage rate or have had to take the pain of the new pension requirements in addition to absorbing general increases in related costs. The fixed hourly rates, arrived at because of stiff competition have proved to be non-viable for many providers who have handed their contracts back to their local councils.

Speaking with a care provider of many years in the last few days, her biggest regret was that they had forgone building up their private customer base in favour of state funded clients. Her organisation now felt strongly that the future was towards the private customer sector but that this was going to require a new mindset for everyone who worked in the organisation.

Changing a working culture established for many years, she said, would be difficult and would be a slow process but to continue to service a diminishing state funded marketplace was the route to business disaster.

By:  Angela E Gifford
Posted:  29 Aug 2017

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