Coronavirus has left companies which support the elderly and disabled in their own homes struggling to cope.
The UK Home Care Association (UKHCA) say the firms need more protective equipment for staff and clearer guidance on protecting clients.
Extra demands are being placed since more people are likely to be needing care and more staff need training in case of any sickness of current staff, COVID-19 related.
The UKHCA says social care companies urgently need extra financial support from the government but also changes to how they are paid by local authorities. This will help prevent them running out of money.
Dr Jane Townson, CEO of UKHCA is concerned how care providers can remain solvent whilst paying unprecedented numbers of care workers who are sick or self-isolating.
‘’Councils and the NHS only pay for care delivered. They will not pay for care workers who are prevented from working. People who buy their own homecare will not be able to bear the additional cost of staff absence.’’
The UKHCA represents more than 2,000 care providers, made up of private firms and not-for-profit organisations. Many of these are already under financial pressure across the UK after a long-standing failure by the government to reform or fund the council-run system properly.
Currently, local authorities buy most of the care for people in their own homes, adding up the number of minutes of support provided by care staff and the firm then paying it in arrears. The association want change to be made so that councils pay companies upfront based on the average amount of care they have provided in previous months, figuring the final figures out later.
How will the current situation, with the COVID-19 crisis worldwide, play out for the elderly and those in the care sector?