'Lack of money' prompts care firms to end council contracts

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Grief firms have cancelled contracts with 95 UK councils, uttering they cannot deliver services for the amount they are being indemnified, a BBC Panorama investigation has found.

Some firms said they could not mobilize or retain the staff they needed.

The Local Government Association about it was the result of «historic under-funding» and an ageing population.

The government declined an conversation but said English councils had received £9.25bn for social care.

The character for the number of cancelled contracts comes from a Freedom of Information application, which was responded to by 197 of 212 UK councils.

According to the research, conducted out for Panorama by Opus Restructuring and Company Watch, 69 home regard companies have closed in the last three months and one in four of the UK’s 2,500 residence care companies is at risk of insolvency.

Councillor Izzi Seccombe from the Local Regulation Association — which represents councils across England and Wales — believed: «We have warned that the combination of the historic under-funding of adult popular care, and the significant pressures of an ageing population and the national living wage, are spur the care provider market to the brink of collapse.

«These figures upstage the enormous strain providers are under, and emphasises the urgent need for a long-term, sustainable explanation to the social care funding crisis.»

Many home care companies say their biggest facer is recruitment and retention of carers.

The Centre for Workforce Intelligence estimates at hardly any two million more carers will be needed by 2025 in England only, in both in-home care and care homes, to cope with blossom demand.

Last October, the regulator for England, the Care Quality Commission, warned that of age social care was at a tipping point.

The nationwide shortage of carers is go many elderly people stuck in NHS wards, which results in bed barricade.

Government figures show there are more than 6,500 people across Britain endured in an acute hospital bed, despite being well enough to leave.

In England, a third of these are recess for a home care package.

One home care company, Cymorth Llaw, which had engages with three councils in north Wales, told Panorama it had recently pack in working with one — Conwy, which had initially paid £14.20 an hour for be enamoured of.

It offered to raise that to £15, but the company decided that mollify wasn’t enough and handed back the contract.

Ken Hogg, at Cymorth Llaw, conveyed: «We didn’t think we could do it for the money — it was as simple as that.

«We pay as much [in wages] as we by any means can and we’ve always paid above what was the national minimum wage and the nationalist living wage.

«[Carers] get a mileage allowance, they get paid itinerant time between their clients.»

Mr Hogg said the company was legally thankful to pay 1% pension and 13.8% national insurance contributions, along with educating and other staff-associated costs, which «doesn’t leave a great arrangement».

Conwy Council said it was committed to supporting vulnerable people in communities, regardless of the financial challenges.

Home care company Mears used to pull someones leg a contract with Liverpool City Council but cancelled it in July, suggesting £13.10 an hour was not enough to cover costs.

Mears said it needed at least £15 an hour, and in the mood for other companies across the UK, argued its costs are often greater than what conferences pay.

Alan Long, executive director at Mears, said: «That was a grisly thing to do for both service users and for care staff.

«We absolutely did not involved in that lightly, but frankly what choice did we have?

«We just cannot do the two most focal things that you need to do in home care — pay staff the absolute nominal of a living wage and be able to recruit enough people to deliver the use that Liverpool Council actually expected from us.»

The industry’s switch body, the United Kingdom Homecare Association, said many callers were really struggling.

Colin Angel, its policy and campaigns top dog, said some care providers are «really desperate» and «really do not grasp whether they’re going to be able to continue in business, beyond the next year».

He combined: «That means they’re really having to make some incomprehensible commercial decisions, whether they might need to cease have dealing or indeed just hand back work to local councils.»

Mike Furlong, straw boss of the Granby Rehabilitation Unit in Liverpool, told Panorama that while on customary people spend 28 days at the care facility, «some cases have been with us 12 and 14 weeks because all the cure is complete, but unfortunately there’s no care package available at the end of it».

Liverpool See Council said that, over the last seven years, its budget had been cut by £330m and it now dire to find a further £90m over the next three years.

Samih Kalakeche, Liverpool’s cicerone of adult social services, said: «Is there a crisis in the home be keen on services? I’ll say yes, there is — and it’s not just money, it’s the sheer volume of demographics.

«We’ve got an ageing natives which we welcome, but we don’t have enough people coming into the toil.»

‘£2bn extra’

Earlier this month, Chancellor Philip Hammond set £2bn extra for social care for English councils over the next three years.

Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales discretion decide how they spend their extra funding.

But the industry discloses that with an increasingly ageing population, it’s just not enough to feed pace with demand.

The government has said it will be bringing nourish more proposals later this year, to ensure a financially sustainable sexual care system.

Panorama: Britain’s Home Care Crisis — Monday, 20 Tread, 20:30 GMT, BBC One


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