Press release


Friday 6 July 2012

• Homecare should be based on outcomes – not on number of minutes spent on a visit
• Social care funding issues must be addressed for standards of care to improve

Following today’s UKHCA ‘Care is not a Commodity’ report revealing that councils are putting vulnerable and older people at risk by cutting the times allowed for personal care visits, Dr Ros Altmann, Director-General of Saga, the largest provider of homecare services in the UK, comments:

“This report highlights the drastic need to change the way we fund social care. Currently, funding for social care is not ring-fenced so may end up being spent elsewhere as cash-strapped councils manage their budgets. We need to consider care funding differently as increasing numbers need help.

“Care is not just about old people - it is about families and loved ones – and at the moment all of these people are being let down but our care system which is focused, not on people's needs, but on 'tasks' and 'visits' or 'hours' and 'minutes' of care. The fact that some visits are taking place in only 15 minutes is staggering – I doubt many people could get much done in their own home in only 15 minutes! A fundamental redesign of the care system is needed that is based on outcomes, such as wellbeing and ability to maintain their lifestyle, rather than the number of minutes spent by a care worker.

“Need for care is increasing and yet the amount being spent on care appears to be falling. Ultimately, until the Government addresses the social care funding issue, we will see more instances of councils commissioning insufficient care for elderly and vulnerable people.”