It has been announced that the largest not for profit care provider in the UK is set to pull out of the domiciliary care market.
It has a presence in over 150 different local authorities in the UK and has cited that it can no longer operate as it faces the squeeze that is borne out of having 90% of its clients being funded by local authorities. The provider stated that its ambition was to be rated “good at least across all of CQC’s five key questions: “safe”, “effective”, “caring”, “responsive” and “well-led.” The provider suggested that providers whose ambitions fall short of this goal may be able to continue to trade with the amount of funds given.
The organisation is confident of being able to sell the entirety of its business onto another provider. The reason for the divestment of assets seems primarily to be the fact that local authorities failed to consistently pay enough for the provider to carry out its business to the required standard.
A clearly important factor in the operation of domiciliary care businesses is the proportion of its clients that are wholly or part paid for by local authorities. With such a heavy reliance (90%) on local authority business that has an effective monopoly when deciding the amounts that it wishes to pay for care, care home businesses such as this are at risk. It is a damning critique of the amount that is paid for care when a highly dependent provider- who serves not to make a profit- is unable to operate.
In the first six months of this year at least one care home provider has ceased trading. It is hoped that a solution is found which makes the operation of care home businesses more viable and a fairer amount is paid by local authorities to allow the business of providing care to sustain.