United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is calling on the government to provide sufficient funding for home care services after a recent survey found an overwhelming preference for people to be supported in their own homes.
The survey, conducted by YouGov on 2,058 adult members of the public in September, shows that more than 9 out of 10 (92%) respondents aged 65 years and over agreed that ‘people would prefer to be supported at home, rather than in a care home’.
This view was also shared by 87% of 100 MPs polled between September 8 and 23.
UKHCA is urging the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, to recognise this preference and provide funding for home care services in his Spending Review this week.
UKHCA chief executive, Dr Jane Townson, said: “All of us want to live well at home and flourish within our communities. Supporting people at home benefits individuals as well as their wider community of family, friends and neighbours and reduces cost and demand for the NHS.
“UKHCA’s research on the way that councils and the NHS purchase homecare has exposed gross inequalities across the country. Typically, areas with the highest deprivation invest the lowest amounts in supporting people to stay well at home. If this government is serious about ‘levelling up’, the Chancellor must invest in homecare.
“Health and wealth are interdependent and homecare services are thus a vital part of the foundation economy, as well as providing 715,000 jobs.”
With over 1 million care and support visits to people in their own homes across England each day, UKHCA estimates the funding gap the Chancellor needs to close for the coming financial year requires an additional £1.4 billion.
This is in addition to funding for any increase the Chancellor may also make to the National Minimum Wage and the additional costs created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisation said.
Beyond the forthcoming Spending Review, which is intended to cover only a single year, UKHCA said the much promised review of the social care system and its funding, must additionally address the needs of the 1.5 million older people Age UK estimates are living with unmet needs in England alone.