CEO of Home Instead Senior Care, Trevor Brocklebank, appeared on Tuesday evening’s BBC Radio 4 File on 4 programme to discuss the findings of a BBC investigation in to the low rates being paid by councils to home care providers.
The airing of the radio programme followed a day of media appointments for Trevor which saw him making a very early start at the BBC’s studios at MediaCity in Salford to appear on Today, Radio 4’s flagship news and current affairs programme, with John Humphries. He was also on BBC Breakfast and the One O’Clock News.
The BBC survey of local authorities in England revealed that councils are paying home care providers less than it costs to meet minimum legal requirements.
Trevor was invited to take part in the programmes owing to his strong views about local authority commissioning. Home Instead will not enter into volume contracts with local authorities as they believe they drive down the quality of care. What’s more, they believe that the authority’s rates of pay are jeopardising the health, safety and dignity of elderly people across the country, in particular because they can lead to short duration calls.
Following a Freedom of Information request to the 152 local authorities in England which pay for social care, the BBC investigation found authorities paying providers an average of £12.26 – well below the standard industry cost model of £15.19. Eleven councils were paying providers less than £10.64 and some were even as low as £9.09.
File on 4 reporter, Fran Abrams, highlighted the fact that Home Instead “doesn’t do calls less than one hour” and asked Trevor about this. In reply, he said, “That makes it difficult for us to work with some local authorities.
“The key to quality care is the relationship and focusing on the person. You can’t deliver quality care when focused on short in and out task-based visits.
“You can’t take your coat off and have a cup of tea in 20 minutes, never mind help get someone out of bed, to the toilet, dressed and set up for the day. It’s just physically impossible.”
Trevor acknowledged that Home Instead is a ‘for profit’ organisation but made the point, “We are ‘for profit’ but primarily it’s about making a difference. Profit is your reward for what you do. It’s not why you do it.”
File on Four is repeated this Sunday at 5pm on Radio 4 or you can tune in to iplayer to listen again.