UKHCA has published an open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, supporting the National Living Wage, but calling for action to ensure that the costs are fully funded by government, which UKHCA estimates will be £753 million in the first year alone.

UKHCA have revised their Minimum Price for Homecare, which increases from the current £15.74 per hour, to £16.20 per hour from October 2015 and £16.70 per hour from April 2016, when the new National Living Wage comes into force.

In the open letter, UKHCA and leading homecare providers, who deliver over 47 million hours of homecare each year today warn the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the additional costs of the new National Living Wage could lead to a catastrophic failure of home-based care services, unless there is urgent action from Government and local councils to address underfunding.

UKHCA Policy Director, Colin Angel, said:

“Care providers leaving the state-funded market would cause considerable distress for people who use homecare services and their families; create a significant burden for local councils and increase the problem of people being unable to leave hospital promptly.

“We are asking the Chancellor to bring about changes in the funding of homecare to ensure that workers benefit from Government’s policy, while still enabling these vital services to remain economically viable.”

The UKHCA has welcomed the proposed introduction of a living wage, but stressed the need for extra financial support by local councils and the Government in order to make the decision viable for care providers. Many homecare services rely heavily on local state funding (usually by local council social services departments or Clinical Commissioning Groups), yet say this is not enough to allow for Living Wage changes.

You can read the UKHCA letter to the Chancellor in full on their website here