Future of domiciliary care services report

April 13, 2018

The Institute of Public Care at Oxford Brookes University has published a new report on the future of domiciliary care services.

The report by IPC's Professor John Bolton and Dr Jane Townson of Somerset Care offers their thoughts and key messages on the commissioning, design and delivery of outcome-based domiciliary care.

While many people would subscribe to a general consensus on the benefits of moving to this way of working, the sector is still confronted by issues of cost, the recruitment and retention of staff, provider flexibility and how to introduce sustainable innovation – elements that all contribute to the way the sector needs domiciliary care to operate successfully in the future.

The Institute says that it sees the publication of this paper as coming at a crucial time in the delivery of care and support to help individuals, where appropriate, at home and in their communities, as the financial challenges in the sector look set to continue into the future.

The paper also highlights the importance of delivering outcomes as a key element in the pursuit of managing unintended demand. The report's authors offer their own experience and suggestions on what needs to be explored (i.e. price, supply, demand, service design and innovation) and how, in order to effectively deliver outcomes.

In addition, they describe the importance of transparency and good working relationships between commissioners and providers as being critical in this area.

The introduction to the report says that, 'Jane and John do not agree about everything. However, they recognise the importance of those who are providing services and those who are commissioning services having a constructive dialogue about the future of care and support for older people in their own homes. They share a belief that lack of constructive dialogue between the key stakeholders including those who are the customers has led to the current unsustainable care market in parts of the United Kingdom.'

In March 2017, the Local Government Information Unit and Mears published a report highlighting that the current homecare market is on the brink of collapse.

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