UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Extra funding is the key to improving the quality of home care‏

Heather Wakefield, UNISON head of local government, writes on the Public Finance website about the proposed National Care Service and argues that increased funding of home care is essential if current standards are to improve and the NCS is to attract the extra million carers needed by 2020

"At the heart of these problems are the under-funding of the home care service and poor commissioning. Increasingly home care is commissioned through ‘reverse e-auctions’, which focus only on lowest price, not quality of care. The fact that private – as opposed to ‘not-for-profit’ providers – have to pay their shareholders’ dividend from public funds first doesn’t help either!

"The UK Home Care Association and the English Community Care Association have reported the under-funding problem to the Low Pay Commission for years. Last year the LPC noted that 38% of providers had to raise wages to meet the 2007 NMW rate and that two thirds of providers were refused an increase in the contract price to reflect the 2007 NMW increase"

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