Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London


In response to the increase in the ageing population, the demand for private home care services is also continuing to rise. The private care industry is now worth 7.2 billion per year, and while the NHS is providing care to a number of vulnerable adults and elderly people, there is still plenty of room for care agencies to offer private care services to those who need them. Private home care agencies assign reliable professional and qualified carers to clients who would require care in their own home and collecting certain payments directly from clients.

Many families are now opting for private home care as it allows them to be in control of the support they receive. With one-on-one, personal support and assistance, private care plans can be built for the client’s requirement. While the private home market is believed to have remained at a fairly consistent value over the last five years, the commercial sector is expected to represent over a fifth of the total market value. This also includes the private sector supply and voluntary informal professions.

The market for private home care has several key differences to most other health and social care markets. Whilst most health and care markets are labour-intensive. Unlike them, the private home care services tend to include a workforce of relatively of formal qualifications, which means home care would be competing with the wider economy, either for staff or minimum wage.

The United Kingdom Associates (UKHCA) estimates that around 249 million hours of private care in the home are provided in England each year. It is normally their priority to enable people to live their later years in a familiar surrounding and provide private care to people close to their home as possible. It should also be the NHS’s priority and aim to help elderly and more vulnerable people to stay healthy and independent, and to avoid hospital stays.

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