Homecare: do Councils pay enough?

A report from UK Homecare Association (UKHCA) published today raises the issue of local councils paying homecare providers less and less, putting the whole sector under enormous financial strain and limiting its ability to deliver high quality care to vulnerable adults.

The report finds that publicly-funded older people’s homecare is under threat of a £513 million shortfall in what councils are paying providers. The UKHCA estimates that in order for homecare services to function effectively, a council needs to pay a provider £16.70 an hour, to cover business costs, ensure staff are paid the new National Minimum Wage of £7.20 per hour and allow for 50p of profit. However, the report states that councils are on average paying providers £2 per hour less than this for their services. Some are paying as little as £12 on hour. This situation can only get worse as Local Government is already forecasting a £4bn shortfall in funding before 2020. The knock-on effect is the tremendous strain on providers’ budgets and their ability to deliver these critical services.

This is a very serious problem for all groups concerned. The UK’s ageing population means that demand for homecare services is only going to increase over the next few decades, with the country already looking after one million more over-75s than it was five years ago. However, funding for the sector is highly unlikely to rise in proportion to demand – Government reform of the social care sector has been put on hold, meaning even greater pressure on providers. Add to this the necessary increase in staffing costs in line with the  rise in the National Minimum Wage to £9 in 2020, and a perfect storm is brewing.

It is clear that as a society we need to find a 21st Century solution to the social care-funding crisis, and soon If we are unable to do so, many providers will collapse, putting millions of vulnerable people at risk of having their care needs unmet – a grim thought. Providers are working hard to ensure they can care for their clients despite this shortfall, but asking them to absorb even more cost is unfair and impractical in the long-term.

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Jobs FAQs

What shifts or rotas are available for professional carers?

Our branches have a wide variety of hours and rotas which means it’s possible to find shifts that fit in with your life situation, whether you want a full time role or are just looking for a few hours a week. All that we ask is that you commit to the hours you can do two weeks in advance.

Do I need care experience to join?

Six months’ professional care experience is ideal - such as a domiciliary carer, care assistant, homecare worker, support worker or healthcare assistant. However, if you are new to care some branches do offer training leading to care certificates, so please contact the recruitment team to discuss on 0808 239 9716.

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A full clean driving is required for some roles, but not all. Job roles normally state if a driving licence is required, but if you are unsure then please contact the recruitment team on 0808 239 9716.

What pre-employment checks do you do?

To join Prestige Nursing & Care as a professional carer you will be required to apply for a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, unless you are registered with the update service.

We can help you apply via your local branch. When you work with children and vulnerable adults a DBS check is a legal requirement. Find out more about DBS checks: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service/about.

We also require two professional references, one of which should be your current or most recent employer.

Finally, you will be required to provide proof of eligibility to work in the UK, NI number, ID and proof of address. Your recruiter will talk you through all requirements and support you all the way.

What training do I need to complete before starting work?

You will need to complete both online e-learning modules and virtual training via Microsoft Teams. This is very flexible and can be completed from home as long as you have a compatible device. Find out more about the training we offer.

Is the training free?

Yes, the training is completely free.

Do you offer regular patterns of work?

Yes, our branches offer a wide variety of hours and shift patterns.

Will I be employed by Prestige Nursing & Care?

You would become a member of our team with a contract for services. You would be eligible for things like SSP and holiday, as well as a NEST workplace pension.

How old do you have to be to work as a carer?

You need to be 18 years old to join our care team and there is no upper age limit.

How often will I get paid?

We pay all our professional carers weekly.