Media release – Minimum Price for Homecare – 2022-2023
Announcing the publication of the Homecare Association’s Minimum Price for Homecare for 2022-2023, the Homecare Association’s CEO, Dr Jane Townson said:
“Central government must ensure long-term sustainable investment in the care sector. Whilst funding announcements made to date are welcome, the amounts allocated fall far short of requirements. Government is providing £1.8 billion extra per year for three years, when we need an estimated £14 billion extra per year to meet future demand, improve access to care and pay more for care.
Councils and the NHS must recognise the true costs of homecare and pay sustainable rates. Our analysis indicates that fee rates of between £23.20 and £29.90 per hour, depending on wage rate, are needed.
Squeezing fee rates over many years has led to poor pay, terms and conditions for careworkers. At the same time that demand for homecare is rising, we are experiencing the worst shortage of careworkers in living memory. Careworkers are leaving in droves to jobs in retail and hospitality, which pay much higher wages and do not require vaccination as a condition of deployment.
In some cases, councils are paying fee rates that do not even cover careworkers’ wages plus employment on-costs. It should be unlawful for public organisations to commission and purchase homecare at fee rates that do not enable compliance with employment or care regulations.
Providers are encouraged only to bid for contracts which enable high quality, sustainable service delivery and to avoid subsidising local authorities. We welcome government proposals for the Care Quality Commission to provide oversight of local authority commissioning.
We continue to call on central government to provide adequate financial support for local authorities to enable them to pay a fair price for care, allowing careworkers to receive wages equivalent to Band 3 healthcare assistants in the NHS with 2+ years’ experience (£11.14 per hour).
We call on local authorities to move without delay to discussing and agreeing fee rates for homecare in 2022 to 2023 with providers, understanding costs and taking fair account of wage and other inflation of at least 8%.
Greater investment is needed in homecare and community support, so we can enable people to live well at home, extend healthy life expectancy, reduce inequalities, take pressure off the NHS and reduce costs for the health and care system.”