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Councils paying less than the recommended minimum for homecare

Posted on 05/02/2014

Local authorities are paying less than the industry recommended minimum for homecare services according for an investigation by the BBC.

BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 programme called ‘Cut-Price Care’, available to listen to now online, reports on the results of a survey carried out on local authorities to find out how much they were paying for home care for elderly and disabled persons.

The recommended minimum rate for home care should be £15.19 per hour paid to providers so that they can then give their staff the minimum wage. This figure was suggested by the United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA), and takes into consideration a wage for staff of £6.31 and £1.20 for travel time, plus National Insurance contributions, holiday pay, training, pension contributions, mileage, business expenses and profit. The UKHCA briefing, which can be viewed here, stresses that this amount is a minimum.

The BBC investigation, however, found that in 101 cases, only four met that minimum rate, with the average being paid by councils for home care services was £12.26 per hour. For councils, this is due to funding cuts having an impact on what they are able to offer providers, but it raises concerns about the quality of care that can be delivered for that price.

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