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Health and Care Focus - Autumn 2014

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12 November 2014
The Hazlewoods Health and Care Team recently undertook a data collection exercise to obtain domiciliary care fee rates across the country. This is the second year that we have asked local authorities, under the Freedom of Information Act, for details of the hourly rates it pays for the provision of care to elderly service users. The response rates this year were extremely encouraging, although it has proved difficult to obtain all of the detail requested from all of the authorities. 
Some of you may remember that in our Focus in the Autumn of 2013 we published a similar map of the United Kingdom showing the hourly rates. You will see to the side, a map showing the lowest rate payable by each authority for an hour’s domiciliary care (not specialist care) for 2014/15. We would point out that many authorities pay different rates for part hour visits and in some authorities there are variations between the minimum and the maximum. We hold data on the minimum, maximum and average fee rates paid, and if you have any questions concerning this, we would be happy to talk to you further.
Looking at the map, drawing a line from Birmingham to The Wash shows a clear divide. That said, Greater London would probably be located in the North of England if it were placed based upon fee rates payable!
We have also analysed the year on year increases in each area of the country and note a significant divergence. The largest reductions in fee rates have been seen in the North, but the same area has also seen the largest increases. If we had carried out this exercise for more than two years, we might have been able to trace whether these significant increases are a result of past reductions or a number of years without any fee uplift. Is there a catch up?