A new survey commissioned by United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) shows the need for the Chancellor to use this week's Spending Review to invest in homecare.
The survey conducted by YouGov has shown that 9 out of 10 (92%) people aged 65 years and over agreed that people would prefer to be supported at home, rather than in a care home. This was a view with which 9 out of 10 MPs (87%) across all parties also agreed.
UKHCA, which commissioned the survey, is calling on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to recognise the overwhelming preference for people to be supported in their own homes by providing sufficient investment in homecare services in Government’s Spending Review this week.
With over one 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 £1.4bn. Importantly, 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.
Homecare services have played a vital role in enabling people to remain at home safely throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, relieving pressure on the stretched NHS. The Chancellor needs to invest in ensuring these essential homecare services, which have experienced under-funding over recent years, are given a sustainable footing.
Beyond the forthcoming Spending Review, which is intended to cover only a single year, the much promised — but completely stalled — 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.
UKHCA’s 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.'
This comes just after a warning from Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) that, unless adult social care is prioritised in the Government Spending Review on Wednesday, millions of people could be at risk of receiving no care or support as the impact of COVID-19 continues.