Care market

The headline figures for the UK in the financial year 2013/14 are:

· Total people receiving domiciliary care: 883,000
· Total hours of domiciliary care delivered: 326 million
· Total expenditure on domiciliary care: £5.1 billion
· State expenditure: £3.9 billion
· Private expenditure: £1.2 billion
· Total people receiving a direct payment: 166,000
· Total people employed in the domiciliary care sector: 578,000

The falling numbers of people receiving state-funded care indicates the statutory sector is targeting services to those who need more intensive support, rather than those with lower level needs. With an overall pattern of tightening “eligibility” criteria operated it is now estimated that around 72% of councils only offer homecare services to those with “substantial” or “critical” needs. A study by the previous care regulator estimated that around 450,000 older people in need of care have some sort of shortfall in the formal care they receive, with 275,000 older people with less intensive needs getting no support from their local council. This figure is expected to increase, reflecting the tighter eligibility criteria.

Group the increased demand from ageing populations, the increased demand from people wishing to remain in their own home, the falling local authority budgets and the increase of direct payments or personalised budgets, the number of people directly contracting the independent sector to purchase support continues to increase year on year.