‘Care quality will suffer’ as hourly rate is cut by 10%

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A Wigan homecare boss has hit out at town hall chiefs insisting the fees they are paid will affect the quality of the care they provide.

The company boss, who has asked to remain anonymous, says that the hourly rate of £13.80 they are being paid as contractors is nowhere near enough and is going to affect the quality of care given.

Providers such as ourselves who are providing quality care are getting punished

Care provider boss

However, town hall chiefs have hit back insisting their prices are “affordable and sustainable for the future” but that they wanted to work with providers “delivering a service significantly higher than average costs”.

The care provider boss said: “The gross cost of an hour’s care is in advance of £11. The new £13.80 hourly rate is a 10 per cent cut in the rate.

“It will be impossible to decrease cost by that much but keep the quality.

“There are providers in the area who are getting more work but who aren’t meeting basic standards.

“Providers such as ourselves who are providing quality care are getting punished.”

He also went onto say that a number of providers have also left the market.

He has called on Wigan Council to provide a rate that is more in line with the level of service given.

“There are six homecare providers who have exited the market in the last two months which has left service users without care,” he added.

“Older people have not been able to be discharged and home care providers haven’t got the capacity. It’s just not worth taking on the extra work for no profit.

“My concern is that my clients have been sent a letter by the council saying their care will be recommissioned to other providers and they will be able to keep the carers they have.

“Not all our carers are funded by the council so it’s unlikely they will get those carers.

“We do a vital job, we are keeping people from going into care homes.”

Jo Willmott, assistant director for provider management at Wigan Council, defended the town hall’s position.

And she added that the council is willing to engage with care providers.

She said: “Wigan Council are proud to be collaborating with local residents and homecare providers co-producing an ethical approach to the delivery of homecare in Wigan borough.

“This approach recognises that the best quality of care and support is delivered by caring and compassionate homecare workers who receive a decent reward and support package from their homecare provider.

“The local homecare market in Wigan borough have been keen to work in partnership with the council to develop a model which enables them to pay a fair price of care to their workforce, at a price that is affordable and sustainable for the future.

“Local providers have been engaged in a robust financial modelling process, sharing important market insight to ensure that we get homecare right for residents.

“As within any commercial sector, there will always be a minority of providers who choose to operate outside of market averages, sometimes delivering a service significantly higher than average costs, we are keen to engage with these organisations and are committed to working in partnership to develop an affordable and sustainable offer for residents.”