Leeds City Council is guilty of underfunding home care services for older people, according to a new report.
The United Kingdom Home Care Association (UKHCA), an organisation for domiciliary care providers, has revealed that the authority’s average spend on older people’s home care is just £13.08 per hour.
The organisation, which has set its own minimum price for home care of £15.74 per hour, claims low prices paid for home care carry risks including poor pay for workers, insufficient resources and training.
Older people’s home care includes personal care such as washing and dressing, plus help with shopping and medication.
UKHCA policy director Colin Angel has warned that unless funding is improved “the care market will become commercially unsustainable”.
He said: “Unless this underfunding is addressed, the independent and voluntary sector will continue to struggle to recruit and retain care workers with the right disposition, training and qualifications.”
According to the UKHCA’s figures Yorkshire councils pay an average price for older people’s home care of £13.23 per hour, which is the third-lowest among England’s nine Government regions. The majority of home care is funded by councils and NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, but it is largely delivered by independent firms.
Coun Adam Ogilvie, the council’s executive member for adult social care, said Leeds has “made a firm commitment to working towards a living wage”.
He said: “Adult social care is a priority area for the council.”