95 UK council care firm contracts cancelled over lack payments

According to a BBC Panorama investigation, 95 UK councils have had their contract with care firms cancelled because the firms were unable to deliver services under the fees agreed.

The data was collected via a freedom of information (FoI) request, submitted to 212 UK councils. Of the 197 which responded, 95 confirmed they had had their care contracts cancelled. The research also indicated that 69 home care companies have closed in the last three months and one in four of the UK's 2,500 home care companies is at risk of insolvency.

Colin Angel, policy and campaigns director for the Homeware Association, outlined that care providers were ‘really desperate’ and ‘do not know whether they're going to be able to continue in business, beyond the next year’.

He added: "That means they're really having to make some hard commercial decisions, whether they might need to cease trading or indeed just hand back work to local councils."

Councillor Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the Local Government Association, said: "We have warned that the combination of the historic under-funding of adult social care, and the significant pressures of an ageing population and the national living wage, are pushing the care provider market to the brink of collapse.

"These figures show the enormous strain providers are under, and emphasises the urgent need for a long-term, sustainable solution to the social care funding crisis."

“That is why it is so important that the government's Green Paper on social care will see local government leaders playing a central role in finding a long-term solution that reforms and fully funds our care system. This is essential if we are to do more than just help people out of bed and get washed and dressed but ensures people can live independent, fulfilling lives in the community, and relieve pressures on care providers and avoid widespread market failure.

"With councils facing further funding pressures and growing demand for support by the end of the decade, this is the last chance we have to get this right."

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