A recent BBC study shows an alarming picture for homecare providers, with many struggling and fearing for the survival of their businesses.
Many businesses are struggling in the UK right now and it is difficult to make a case for just one sector. It must however be understood that businesses operating in the social care sector are not just businesses but are often lifelines for those they support. Those providing homecare services, where they care for elderly and vulnerable people in their own homes, help many thousands retain independence and in doing so help prevent the decline in these people's health.
It is nothing new that Local Authorities do not often pay high enough rates. Neither is this underpayment problem confined just to the homecare sector. Many in the care home sector face similar problems. Whilst the government have done much to help in the Pandemic it is now time that the long term future of these sectors are focused on so that this funding shortage does not become a problem that is just kicked down the road when we come out the other side of the current crisis.
In the meantime, many businesses are struggling. For some providers, it has become a time to exit and we are seeing a great deal of sale and purchase activity in both the care home and homecare sectors. Some providers simply don't want to continue and there are plenty of buyers looking to take the businesses on so they can build economies of scale.
It may therefore be that the landscape for social care looks very different in the medium term with more larger providers and fewer more traditional smaller businesses. If this is the direction of travel then anyone contemplating an exist should plan for the future now to make sure they are not forced into a position where they have to sell.
For those businesses that continue we must hope the Government seizes the opportunity to change the future of the Social Care Sector for the better.
More than a quarter of UK home care providers risk going out of business, research for the BBC suggests.