Cutting costs can have a great effect on quality with any product or service. It can sometimes be economical to go for cheaper alternatives, however on other occassions it can really drive the quallity down. The BBC recently investigated local councils under the Freedom of Information Act and found that 96% of them were paying less than the estimated minimum cost of home care. The minimum cost was estimated by the UK Homecare Association (UKHCA) AT £15.19 an hour; this covers carer wages, training and travel expenses.
Independent local home care providers bid for socail care contracts and service agreements so their services are provided through the local council. More often than none, providers offering lower visiting times (15-30 minutes) will usually be the ones who have their bids accepted, as they will usually cost the council less than home care providers offering services for more than one hour.
Trevor Brocklebank Chief Executive of Home Instead commented that "It' is simply impossible to deliver quality care for the hourly rate that's been offered. You have to cut too many corners, cram too may calls and that's not acceptable." Colin Angel, of the UKHCA, said "fees paid by local councils, were too low".
Home Instead as a whole organisation doesn't bid for Social care contracts as the contracts can reduce the quality of care by driving down costs which cannot be met. Sarah Oldham our Head of Care added "15 minute visits is not something we believe in, it is too much of a task-based approach and doesn't provide the depth that a service with longer care visits provides. We hope that local councils begin to do things differently and seek out quality care for elderly people".